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Women s Era April Second 09-jalsa.tk

Women s Era April Second 09-jalsa.tk

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APRIL (SECOND) 2009

Rs 30

WOMAN ’S ERA

TURMOIL THAT EATS FROM INSIDE THE NEW WOMAN IS MADE FROM A DIFFERENT STUFF RECESSION IS HERE BUT WHY PANIC WHAT IS TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME? AN EXTREME READING OBSESSION RAPE: HAVE A HEART FOR THE VICTIM THE DESERT LAND WITH THE HIGHEST WATER
APRIL (SECOND) 2009

CONSUMPTION

APRIL (SECOND) 2009
Vol 36, Issue No. 849

BUILDS HAPPY HOMES

CONTENTS
Founder: Vishwa Nath
(1917-2002)

womansera.com

68

10

POSSESSIVENESS A FEAR OF LOSING SOMEONE SPECIAL
Suman Bajpai

THE WAY TO BE
Kalpana M Naghnoor

16

ARE YOU A SLAVE TO DUST?
Shailja Mehta

80

BOMBAY FILMDOM

ARTICLES
20 TACKLING RECESSIOIN
Shivendra Kumar

70

35 THE NEW-AGE WOMAN
Padmaja Menon

36 THE BACKDROP UPFRONT – EPISODE -2
Kasturi Rangachari

44 7TH CAVINKARE ABILITY AWARD 2009
Vanathi Siva

HARASSMENT OF WORKING WOMEN
I. M. Soni

28

CONFESSIONS OF A READOMANIAC
Romola Shanbhag

86

66 RECREATING PAST
Pratima Sharma

72 HOW DID NAXALISM COME TO AN END IN A BLOCK OF BIHAR
Dr Satish Kumar and Vivek Raj

76 VERSATILE VIBURNUMS FOR AESTHETIC BEAUTY
Som Dutt

32 NANDINI SARMA,
G. V. Joshi Maneka Gandhi

NEW GENERATION KISSING
Dr Parveen Prakash

90 CREATING MUSIC ON CANVAS
Our Correspondent

NANDINI SARMA, WHO WROTE HER NAME ON AN ASTEROID 126 PEDIGREED DOGS DEMYSTIFIED 128 RAPE THE STIGMA STILL PREVAILS
Bhavna Keswani

COOKERY
46 PALATABLE PREPARATIONS 48 SUMMER DELICACIES
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

93 PRITHVI THY NAME IS VERSATILITY!
Gayatri T. Rao

116 STRINGS THAT MESMERISE
Rema Prasanna

FICTION
22 THE ULTIMATE EQUATION
Nalini Sharma

120

LOG ON TO LIFE
Anuradha Bhagi

62 THE PAYING GUEST
Dr Gayathri N. M.

Malayali Yoghurt Mango Rabri Marble Strawberry Yoghurt Satrangi Ice Cream Frozen Yoghurt Arabian Ice Cream Choco Hazel Delight Gulabo Kulfi Nougat Surprise Pine Apple Banana Smoothie English Pineapple Pudding Orange Delight

ER SUMMacies delic
Try these suga king and lip-smac r-coated ava
Bharg

desserts.

MALAYALI YOGHURT S:

sugar. Mix in the the By Savita om and continu ously. aluminium Mix in the cardam cool. Serve bowl with when ds, Cover the about 15-20 mango pulp with almon steam for garnis hed . foil and with cold ios and saffron minutes. garnis hed pistach Cool. Serveand raisins chilled. nuts remaining

GI ICE SATRAN CREAMS:

the cream with Mix the it cool. into 3 parts. and divide the mango custard part add Pour To one a mixer. heat in keep in pulp and am tin and into an ice-cre set. in to the freezer second part also the set Beat the pour over mixer and third part heat in the To the over the custard. and pour the jelly second layer. it to set. fruit and Again keep with cake Garnis h ry yoghurt Marble strawber serve.

Arabian

and serve sauce choco late silver balls. with the garnished

ice cream

INGREDIENT sed milk conden from full 200 gm curd made 11/ 2 cup cream milk 1/ cup cream r 2 on powde 1/ tsp cinnam r 2 om powde d 1/ tsp cardam 2 and crushe 2 tbsp roastedhazel nuts and almonds 2 tbsp raisins D a muslin METHO curd in Tie the it in a cool and hang the water. cloth drain out milk, place to condensed om Add the cardam on and cinnam well. Also, and mix powder of the nuts. add half

MANGO S:

INGREDIENT am milk 500 ml full-creor to taste 1/ cup sugar 2 acid 1/ tsp cutie 4

RBLE RABRI MA AWBERRY STR YOGHURT
Mango rabri

2 es cake sprinkl hing: For garnis erries fresh strawb D a muslin METHO curd in Put the in a cool hang it to drain cloth and 6-8 hours place for and out the water. castor sugar in the mango pulp 1/ cup Mix r 2 powder. om powde small 1/ tsp cardam cardamom put a portion in 2 threads Chill and and few saffron almonds cut jam to give bowls. 1 tsp finely tsp of the Fold in a pistachios d effect. sprink les a marble D with cake keep it and METHO Garnis h in a vessel Boil milk half. serve. stir and r till on simme citric acid and Add the

S: INGREDIENT curd made from 1 kg thick milk to full-cream sugar or 4 tbsp castor taste fruit or 6 tbsp mixed jam r strawberry om powde -1 tsp cardam
1/

INGREDIENT am milk 600 ml full-cre powder custard 51/ 2 tsp 12 tsp sugar 1 cup creamor sarauli mango so 1 alphan erry jelly 1/ cup strawb 2 hing: For garnis cake fruit D mix the METHO of milk, In a cup and the powder custard sugar. remaining Boil the add the milk and powde r custar d to it, stirring mixtur e so that no continuously formed. lumps are from fire and let Remove
Satrangi ice cream

FROZEN YOGHURT S:

ARABIAN CREAMS:
1/ 4

ICE

INGREDIENT am yoghurt full-cre 300 gm sugar 15-20 gm powdered) (castor or sauce chocolate silver balls

INGREDIENT am milk 500 ml full-cre d dates cup choppe

taste sugar to hing: For garnis silver balls pie: ed) For date dates (chopp 125 gm 1/ cup sugar 2 1 cup water 1/ tsp salt 2 1/ cup oil r 4 on powde 3/ tsp cinnam 4 powder of clone a pinch

D ents in a METHO above ingredi for a few Mix the boil-simmer sauce pan, cool. 1 and maida and minutes in 1 cup Now mix Frozen yoghurt dish tsp soda. in an ungreased hing: Spread For garnis cream till done. In a pan boil and bake 100 ml thick cream: and For the ice D the dates METHO yoghu rt the milk, add Whip the and fold till 1/3rd. remov e sugar simmer with the sugar and Put in the Add the in the cream. When fire. tray and the to set. in a rice and from freeze r date Cool, pour whip again with the it half set Serve again till freeze . then freeze solid. 49 with pie. becomes liberal ly Drizzle
Woman’s Era

April (Second

) 2009

Malayali

Yoghurt

Woman’s

Era

April (Second

) 2009

48

● ● ●

Khus Ice-Berg Lemonade Angoori Sharbat Carrot Pumpkin Sundae

FASHION
35 MUSINGS, MEMORIES 134 CROSSWORD 139 BABY CLUB 146 AS YOU SAY

14

NEWS IN PICTURES

BEWARE OF TSS: IT’S DEADLY
Vikas Kumar Jain

84

SUSTAIN THAT SPARKLE SHINE
Bhavna Keswani

78

65 PERSONAL PROBLEMS

118 RAY OF HOPE
(Poem)

133 NEW LAUNCHES 67 MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS AND ME... 138 KITCHEN QUERIES 83 YOUR BODY 140 CLASSIFIEDS 145 MONEY MATTERS

EAST MEETS WEST

54

ENTICINGLY CURLY

42

FEATURES
19 WHERE IS HAPPINESS? 34 CHILD CHALLENGES
Editor, Publisher & Printer PARESH NATH
Printed at Delhi Press Samachar Patra Pte Ltd., A-36, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad and Delhi Press, E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055 and published on behalf of Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte Ltd. from E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055. E-mail: admin@womansera.com EDITORIAL, ADVERTISEMENT & PUBLICATION OFFICE Delhi Press Building, E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg, New Delhi-110 055. Phone: 41398821, 41398888. Fax: 91-11-23625020 The names of characters used in all fiction and semi-fiction articles are fictitious. COPYRIGHT NOTICE © Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte Ltd. New Delhi-110 055. India.

(Poem)

41 BEAUTY QUERIES 53 I AM PREGNANT

74 FILL UP THE COUNTOURS CROSSWORD OF EXPRESSION AND WIN RS 15,000
(Toddler Trends)

READERS’ CONTESTS

Page 134

EVERY FORTNIGHT

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www.womansera.com

EDITORIAL
BETTER HALVES
AT

G-20 SUMMIT

SUBJUGATING WOMEN

G

lobal summit of G-20 nations in London was the second one after the worldwide recession raised its ugly head. Earlier, these countries had met in Washington. During the summit, these nations unanimously decided to drop their conservative stance in an attempt to rescue the world economy; to pour collectively to the tune of $1.1 trillion by the end of 2010 as loans and bank guarantees and embrace greater transparency in banking transactions in order to curb black money economy and tax evasion. Now, there are good chances of the meritorious people occupying apex positions in the IMF and World Bank with hope of greater representation from India and China which are showing growth in spite of meltdown. India has been rightly placed in Financial Stability Forum and Banking related Basal Convention. Certainly, India is having greater say and acceptance in G-20 summit this time as a part of solution, than the problem. At every international summit, better halves of the heads of the governments almost always have a prominent presence. This time too, spouses of world leaders graced the occasion with their presence although they had little to do with the world affairs. Gursharan Kaur, wife of our Prime Minister, as usual maintained her low profile. This stems from her philosophy of simple living and high thinking. First lady of France, Carla Bruni was centre of attraction for all her lustrous modelling past. Thankfully, her presence did not create any controversy this time. Most astonishing, however, was the boldness of Michelle Obama, the spouse of US President Barack Obama. After assuming president’s office in January this year, it was the first major international meeting of Obama. During her courtesy call to the Queen Elizabeth, she put her arm around the queen. This created furor among the elite circles of Britain. Some declared it as a breach of protocol, i.e. never to touch the queen, but gracefully Queen Elizabeth welcomed, by putting her arm around Michelle’s waist, a gesture of reciprocity and solidarity. Many years ago, an Australian Prime Minister too had put his hand on the shoulder of the British Queen, thereby angering the conservative British parliamentarians, who termed him ‘an idiot’. Actually most of the people want to see what they are used to see always. And any deviation looks awkward to their eyes.

T

he new law brought by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and passed hurriedly in country’s parliament, allowing Shiite men to demand sex from their wives every four days and keep them indoors indefinitely, even upholding legitimising rape is shocking and causing uproar. Muslim women in Afghanistan and Taliban-dominated areas have already been victims of Talibanisation, which do not allow women to enjoy any kind of rights. Time and again Muslim women have been beaten, tortured and suffered all kinds of atrocities and humiliations from their male counterparts. Of late, media also reports that Taliban has burnt down many schools and tortured women in Afghanistan. In spite of tackling such inhuman action of terrorists, the Afghan President has preferred to appease fundamental forces. Moreover, the new Shia Family Law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approving child marriage and restricts a woman's right to leave the home. Some call the new law nothing short of legalised rape thus subjugating womenfolk. The law, which has not yet been published but was leaked by a UN agency, rules that a Shiite woman must seek her husband's permission to go outside. "Obedience, readiness for sexual intercourse and not leaving the house without the permission of the husband are the duties of the wife," states the law. "As long as the husband is not travelling, he has the right to have sex with his wife every fourth night." In case of divorce, the father will always get custody of a child/children, according to the law. In fact, when the world is making efforts to liberate women in a big way, the new Shia Family Law negates the status of Muslim women in Afghanistan. This is also necessary in view of the fact that women in Afghanistan have been the worst sufferers during the long Soviet occupation of the country and under the regime of primitive-minded Talibans. With Hamid Karzai taking over the reins of the nation, it was hoped that they would see new light. But action of Afghan President has shattered all their dreams. The reason is obvious. While looking into the coming general election, he is unable to take a principled stand, thus forcing his dictate, towards women empowerment.
write to: letters@womansera.com We

Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

9

Here’s how to save yourself from an inner turmoil that might be eating you from inside.
By Suman Bajpai

hy do you always check receiving and dialling numbers on my mobile? You don’t trust me or don’t understand the importance of privacy? Are you suspicious about me or what I do? I am your wife; you should have faith in me,” Vibha asked, very upset with the behaviour of her husband Aakash, as he has always been on a scrutiny drive and wants to know what Vibha is doing, to whom she is talking or how much she is spending on herself…his check-list is endless. This very thought that Aakash keeps

“W

POSSESSIVENESS

A FEAR OF LOSING SOMEONE SPECIAL

?

a tight vigil on her irritates Vibha. She knows that he loves her but can’t understand that, in spite of knowing each other for almost five years before marriage, how come the things have changed after their marriage? “I have a full faith in you – it’s just that I have become little more protective about you. After all, I am your husband and it is my responsibility to provide you security,” Aakash explained his point of view. “That is fine but I feel there is more to it. I think you have become possessive about me. Now, you don’t like the idea of inviting your friends at our place. I am yours and love you very much,” Vibha tried to convince him, but things got worse with each passing day and ultimately a loving relationship became unpleasant and claustrophobic.

Normal human emotion: Jealousy is a perfectly normal human emotion. All of us have felt it at some point in our life and sometimes quite frequently. It’s natural to be envious of another woman’s attractiveness or fit body or your neighbour’s state-ofthe-art car or high-flying career. Even in a relationship, mild jealousy is only natural when you find your spouse or partner paying attention to, or admiring, another man or woman. Or even slight possessiveness if you find you don’t get enough of your spouse’s attention due to a newborn baby or other priorities. Jealousy and possessiveness become unacceptable when it gets out of hand and begins to consume the relationship. Often, a wife feels desired if her husband displays affectionate possessiveness or a boyfriend feels more loved and important if his girlfriend gets a little irritated when he flirts or checks out other women. So when does it get to be a problem? Limitations are set: Possessiveness is a very common emotion that prevails in relationships but when this emotion fails to abide by any boundary, you are in a deep trouble. Though it is very unlikely to

run into such extreme characters in real life, several people have terminated their relationships because their partners grew overpossessive with them. Remember the character of Shah Rukh Khan in the film Darr, Sharad Kapoor in Dastak, and Urmila Matondkar in Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya? They were all in love, and extremely possessive about their love interests, which eventually led to their ends. Then starts the list of limitations or boundaries to be followed like the time of coming back home, minimum interaction with the opposite sex, tracing of phone calls…and the list becomes endless. Your spouse gets nasty if you spend time with your friends, parents, siblings – basically anybody other than him or her. It gets to the point where you either have no life and company other than his or hers – you have to account for your whereabouts, or you have to lie, and live in fear of being discovered. He or she shows up suddenly at your office once too often and even quizzes your colleagues about what was genuinely a working dinner. And you often find your mail rifled through or your drawers ransacked.

EVEN IN A RELATIONSHIP, MILD JEALOUSY IS ONLY NATURAL WHEN YOU FIND YOUR SPOUSE OR PARTNER PAYING ATTENTION TO, OR ADMIRING, ANOTHER MAN OR WOMAN.
following my husband wherever he goes. And I know that he has not been going out or meeting another woman. But I do feel suspicious. Even I dislike the idea of meeting him with his family members, as they can say something against me. Maybe because I am not as smart as he is and a fear of losing him or his indulgence with other woman, provoke me to do so. I will kill him if he sees other woman,” says 26-yearold ordinary-looking Harshita, who has left her job after marriage because her husband wanted her to. Obviously, she is certain in her own mind that she is wrong somewhere. But feels that, because she is married to him, she owns him and therefore he should not have any secrets, relationships, ambitions or desires of his own. It is possible that her anger may turn into rage one day and rage may turn into violent actions towards him. Relationship experts feel that possessiveness is fine but, as excess of everything is bad, overpossessiveness turns into psychiatric disorder. “The problem stems from personal insecurities,” explains Dr Ekta Soni, senior clinical psychologist, Apollo Hospital. “It is the person’s inferiority complex and lack of confidence that makes them think that their partner might find someone better,” she adds.

Inferiority complex leads to insecurities: “I have been secretly

Desire for control: Possessive individuals want exclusive rights to their partners. They confine them and they watch them. If their partners try to run away, they lock them up. If their partners succeed in running away from them, they chase them. They can never win. You can force another person to do a lot of things, but one thing you cannot make another person do: you cannot make the other person love you. Desire for domination and control is another major factor for possessiveness. “Many people are dominating by nature and some may even qualify as ‘control freaks’. These people derive satisfaction from treating their partner, like their property. In most cases these individuals also suffer from feelings of insecurity and inferiority,” feels Dr Swati Kashyap, senior consultant, behavioural medicine, Fortis La Femme Hospital. Those partners who try to fight

their own insecurity by exerting power and control over their partners, fail to see that the more tightly they grasp their partners, the more their partners will want to get away from them. Even a mother, after a while, tries to peel her clinging child off her – not because she stops loving the child, but she just gets tired of being pulled and pushed and needs a break from it.

FOR INSTANCE, IF HE OR SHE ACCUSES YOU OF CHECKING OUT, ADMIRING, OR FLIRTING WITH SOMEONE AND IT IS TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR, DON’T ARGUE AND GET INTO A HEATED DEBATE ABOUT IT.

Fear of loss: “Fear of loss of the relationship is another major factor of being possessive, when one is not confident about the relationship and fears that the partner may walk out of the relationship any time. This is especially true in cases where one person is much more involved and dependent on the other than the other person,” opines Dr Swati Kashyap. Some require constant confirmation of being wanted and turn overpossessive when their needs are not met. Often, when the woman or man in the relationship is attractive, charming, personable or witty, more than the spouse, insecurity sets in, which prompts jealousy and leads to possessive ness. Sometimes, feelings of neglect and lack of attention give way to possessiveness and making them want to cling to their partner, sometimes unreasonably, and grudge the attention they are bestowing on others. Research has established that what many men want most in marriage is not great beauty, brains or sex, but the simple feeling of ‘possessing’ a woman. In other words, what they seek is a degree of ownership or power. And, in their hearts, many women have the complementary craving, to totally ‘belong’ to their husband. Feeling of selfworth: If you are serious about the relationship, try and work through the problem. For instance, if he or

she accuses you of checking out, admiring, or flirting with someone and it is totally uncalled for, don’t argue and get into a heated debate about it. It will only worsen an already tense situation. Instead, try to calmly and rationally explain that you were not doing anything of the sort and nor are you tempted to. And, even if you were, reassure them that it was harmless, after all it’s human nature to appreciate something or somebody good looking and nothing is going to come of it. “If you wish to deal with your own trait of overpossessiveness, focus on building your self-esteem by reminding yourself that you are a very worthy though fallible human being and the presence or absence of a relationship in your life cannot change that intrinsic worth. Also remember, if the relationship is weak, no amount of possessiveness can save it. If it is strong, there is no need for any over-possessiveness. In case your partner is acting in an overly possessive manner, you will need to reassure him or her that he or she is very special to you and your relationship is a very strong dependable one, suggests Dr Swati.

Communication is the key: It is better to have a heart-to-heart talk where both the partners can explain their views and try to be more enduring and understanding of each other’s situation. Trust is also a major issue. If a partner is really possessive then he or she obviously doesn’t have a trust on the other. The key word here is ‘talk’; make sure it doesn’t turn into a major row. Communication is the key to any relationship and if any of the partners is not willing to communicate the relationship is not working. Make him or her understand that it is not healthy for a relationship to spend all your time in each other’s company. Soothe their concerns and worries and encourage them to also spend time with their own circle of friends. Let him or her know that friends and family are important to you, but he or she is the most important person in We your life.

Show of strength
A missile unit of Korean People’s Army (KPA) marches during a grand military parade to celebrate its 75th founding anniversary at the Kim II Sung Square in Pyongyang. South Korea on March 26 joined its US ally in calling for a United Nations response to North Korea’s “provocative” rocket launch plan.

Models display Canon’s new entry-level digital SLR camera “EOS Kiss X3” and 3D cameras “Fine Pix Real 3D” which can record full high definition video images, and shoot 3D or 2D images. The cameras are produced by Canon and Fujifilm and were exhibited at the Photo Imaging Expo in Tokyo on March 26.

Russian creations
Models present creations by Russian designer Valentine Yudashkin during a fashion week on March 21 in Moscow.

Cannon’s latest cameras

Dany Torres of Spain performs during the Red Bull X-Fighters motor cross exhibition in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City on March 24. The X-Fighters World Series kicked off on March 27 in Mexico.

A rare feat People’s wordy power

A model shows of South Korean Hyosung Motors GT250RR motorcycle during the Tokyo Motor cycle show on March 27. A total of 113 motorcycle makers, importers, part makers and shops participated in the three-day exhibition.

Kimono-clad people line up at a playground on March 28 to spell out the words “Tokyo 2016” to support Tokyo’s bid to host the 2016 summer Olympic games. Tokyo is up against three other cities – Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro in its effort to host the Olympics in 2016 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide the host city on October 2 in Copenhagen.

Pairs free skating event

Participants in the Pairs Free Skating Event of the 2009 World Figure Skating Championship at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on March 25.

Motorcycle display

Getting through today’s tough times.
By Kalpana M Naghnoor

THE WAY TO BE

H

ey! Just look around you and what do you see? A lot of unrest and it’s time we let up a bit. With bombings in our major cities, it is impossible to feel the security we once felt in our country. With little children we feel even more protective and the distant future seems a little too unsafe. So what do we do? Just cribbing about the situation is simply not enough. Take charge of your neighbourhood. ● Asking the garbage collector in your area to be vigilant regarding the dustbins and other areas, where

destructive things could be submerged. ● Talking to domestic staff and enlightening them on the risks of strangers in and around the area. ● Making sure vacant sites are regularly cleaned of shrubbery so that it cannot be misused. ● Anything seems amiss, not hesitating to notify authority. ● Any unclaimed property being brought to the notice of the concerned authority. ● Dashing off letters to newspapers and the concerned authorities to keep them on their toes. These minimum precautions taken, your job is done. Beyond this, it is a little difficult to effect more from your end. But what is achieved by this small exercise? Well, at least it is not an easy pushover for bad elements. The moment bad elements realise society is getting alert, it acts as an hindrance to their verve. A, B, C, D, E, F, are not going to solve our problems, they are going to keep us vigilant and help us feel a lot safer than being in the dark. When society awakens to threats, it becomes a deterrent for unsocial elements. But remember life must go on.

THESE MINIMUM PRECAUTIONS TAKEN, YOUR JOB IS DONE. BEYOND THIS, IT IS A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO EFFECT MORE FROM YOUR END. BUT WHAT IS ACHIEVED BY THIS SMALL EXERCISE? WELL, AT LEAST IT IS NOT AN EASY PUSHOVER FOR BAD ELEMENTS.

PRIORITISE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
A working woman with family responsibilities can find life bogging her down. Heavy work schedules, school schedules, homework the children bring home, elders to be taken care of, housework and hubby dear! So... ● Prioritise your responsibility. ● Do not feel guilty about your priorities. Remember, you are a responsible, sensible woman and you know how to go about your duties. ● Do not feel guilty about taking help from institutions. For example, if you have an ailing elder, you do not have to give up your job to look after that person. Get nursing aids to help you out, and pay for it. Even if the option evens out the money matrix, you still have the job and the tenure 18

will amount to something. ● Value the fact that you can multi-task. Use any resource that will help you do that healthily. Maintain a healthy approach to the daily routine, tell yourself it does not bog you down – and it will not. But also learn to say NO when you have to. NO MARTYRDOM please! In addition to work, children’s daily demands and housework. If guests are expected, serve short snacks and the drinks and pick up your purse for a quick meal in a reasonable restaurant, or order meals that fit in a good recipe of your own. I have a trick here. When you do buy crockery and cutlery make sure you buy the best in your budget and the best suited to your lifestyle. What happens is simple: food like dal and rice and one nice veggie and another dish thrown in makes a good treat for the eye on lovely crockery. About traffic and congestion, the Woman’s Era

April (Second) 2009

less said the better. If you were one who lived in a city like Bangalore, even as you read, you will be nodding in tune with my words. IT CAN GET REALLY BAD! There is nothing you can do about it? Yes, there is. ● A few letters to traffic cops, pointing out the unbearably congested areas will get the desired result… well try. ● If you get stuck in traffic, at least, warn a few commuters you know who might be in the same snarl as you. ● Opt for car pools – it may relieve you too, of the burden of weaving through the congestion day in and day out. ● If you do at any time find an errant Lothario at the wheels, tell him there are other ways to romance. In these times, life holds a new fear; the fear of the uncertain. The joint family has broken away in most instances to nuclear, bringing with it

the onus of fragile and short-time multiple stresses. We have a myriad other unpredictable situations to cope with – water problems, load-shedding, labour inefficiency, ruffled educational authorities, etc. This is

the society we live in today. With all the technological improvements and expanding money markets, we’ve reached a stage where we are not able to carry the population smoothly. The reason being we are still overpopulated, under-efficient, undereducated and below subsistence level. Therefore, we have a confused populace, the threat of terrorism causing intolerance. Then there are our endemic problems, which perpetuate further; it will take a long time solving. The stress of living through these times has surely hit us, the thinking general public is bound to have frayed nerves. Yet the society is what it is and, therefore, we must wade through. Try this! Stand in front of the mirror and smile, watch the smile make you look and feel good, feel the tension leave you. Try different angles and spend five minutes doing this. It will work wonders for you! We

WHERE IS HAPPINESS?
Where is happiness? I ask this question frequently But my voice comes back lonely Tired and worn out But we think we are stout One day I’ll reach my goal And find my happiness on the whole But I can’t wait I think I am already late “Be patent,” says my inner voice It is not the destination. But the journey Which you should enjoy Bit by bit – Kanika Adlakha, Faridabad
Woman’s Era

April (Second) 2009

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TACKLING

RECESSION
Handy tips to handle the looming crisis.
By Shivendra Kumar

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echnically, a recession is two consecutive quarters or more of negative growth measured by the country’s gross domestic product.

Be ready before recession strikes The global economy has taken a downturn. And, more importantly, if experts are to be believed, worse is still to come. In this crisis, there’s a lesson to be learned about the economy – it’s that you can’t fully steer your financial planning the way the winds are blowing because they can change direction in an instant. So, in the midst of economic uncertainty, people need to steel their personal finances just in case the slowing economy brings nasty surprises. So what should you do? Make sure your investments are well diversified and stay focused on your long-term goals. This means don’t put all your the eggs in one basket. Invest a major portion of your
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disposable income in safe instruments like fixed deposits or national saving certificates. Bonds and mutual funds should be only second and third priorities. The stock market should be the last in the list of your investment portfolio. You should be more cautious in your spending, saving and borrowing. It is not prudent for most households to change their investment decisions, save to underweight housing during this period. Paying down or paying off debt — especially high-cost, non-taxdeductible debt — is always a good idea, but it’s particularly important if you expect tough economic times ahead. There’s a big incentive for getting rid of credit-card debt. Paying off a credit card that has a 30 per cent annual rate is the same as getting a guaranteed rate of return of 30 per cent from your investments. Buck up on your savings. During this unstable time, we need to be building our cash reserves to be able to cushion against changes Woman’s Era

and unforeseen events. Before, you might have neglected building up a cash reserve. Today, you can’t afford not to have one – especially, when you are not sure of your income in the recession period. So be sure you maximise your contributions to your PF, especially if your employer matches your contribution. If you don’t contribute, your employer will also not be bound to contribute his part. But to save, you must have your budget in line so you have extra money you can put away. This can only be done when you focus your budget on saving. So, forget all other advice, and put your energy and mind on safe savings. Also, approach your budget as if you are a corporate downsize specialist. In a two-income family, have two budgets in place: the comfortable one and the uncomfortable one, and have concrete steps in place to execute if needed. Your comfortable budget is the one that allows for the extras such as eating out, lawn service, gifts, vacations, etc. The uncomfortable one involves stripping down to basics. Reconsider making large purchases. If you are planning a discretionary purchase such as lands, new floors, etc, consider postponing those bigticket items. This is also true of trading in cars — something most people could stand to do much less often. •Finally, protect the source of your income — your job — by making yourself more valuable to your employer. Because, in the recession period, only those are retained who cannot be done away with, the rest are simply shown the door. So don’t be on the fringe, work hard to be at the centre of your organisation. Ultimately, take care of yourself, the rest will surely fall into its place. Recession has a cyclical life, it comes and goes away. It is not here to stay for long. Before you can blink, the sun may shine. Let’s hope for the We best.

April (Second) 2009

The Ultimate Equation
Noopur’s mother thought she was the ultimate at home – until she met her equal. By Nalini Sharma

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s Noopur kick-started her scooty outside her Time is short... Rahul will be here at six sharp...” home to leave for her College of Excellence The house wore a festive look. Noopur did not where she was working as a chemistry like her parents fussing over this ‘meaningless lecturer, her mother emerged from the room tradition’ with so much pomp and show. The only hurriedly on hearing the sound. “Rahul is thing that delighted her was the happy mien of her coming to ‘see’ you in the evening,” she mother. She was pleasantly surprised to see her reminded her. “Get back home early before mother looking almost beautiful with a sweet smile five so as to get enough time to prepare for the adorning her face that she had never seen before. occasion. I had asked you to take leave so that you The ugly frown that marred her looks was completely have the shining glow on your face,” she added wiped out. For once, her mother forgot to glare at peevishly,” but you...” Noopur’s gentle grandmother who seemed to cower Noopur whirred past her, leaving her mother’s under her fierce stare. How Noopur wished the new sentence unfinished before she launched a tirade to charming expression to settle on her mother’s face tire her. Later in the afternoon, Noopur’s face forever. flushed a bit as she sought permission from Rahul arrived with his parents on the her HoD to go home early stammering Soon, both sets dot. One look at him and Noopur knew before him some flimsy excuse that that he was the man of her dreams — just of parents sounded unbelievable to her own ears. made for her. In spite of her mother’s retired to Eyes downcast, she blushed and glanced entreaties, she had refused to drape herself another room away not meeting his gaze. A gentleman in fineries for the occasion. Dressed leaving the that he was, though not comprehending casually without any trace of make-up, pair alone for her incoherent, unintelligible speech Noopur greeted them ignoring the an informal properly, nodded acquiescence, thus not disapproving glance of her mother. chat. They putting her in an awkward predicament. Soon, both sets of parents retired to talked for a She was expected to reach home well another room leaving the pair alone for an long time in time, have a wash and doll herself up informal chat. They talked for a long time about things for the ‘girl-seeing ritual’ she hated so about things in general of their common in general of much, though, like her mother, interests — films, favourite actors, pastimes their common disobedience and disregard for the and sports, etc. What impressed Noopur interests. sentiments of elders was not ingrained in most was that Rahul or his mother did not her nature. She hurried home not because ask a single question about her culinary she dared not disobey her mother but because she talents, embroidery and knitting related to so-called was immensely fascinated by the credentials of the wifely duties. Rahul’s appreciative glance sent ‘boy’. thrilling waves running down her spine making her Rahul was a tall, handsome young man in his late heart thump wildly with excitement. 20s. An executive engineer in a private firm, he had an extremely promising career. She had heard it efore leaving, the visitors conveyed their from her mother for the umpteenth time. consent to her parents asking them to chalk out “Well, seeing is believing,” she had retorted. the wedding programme as early as possible to Now the D-Day had come. suit their convenience. Overjoyed, Noopur’s mother Hardly had she entered her room when her just could not believe her ears how her daughter in mother commanded her, “Get ready. Quick. I have her plainest outfit had managed to impress Rahul. put your sari and all the accessories on your bed. The topic of dowry was not even broached.

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In this whole process, Rahul’s parents had discreetly kept away leaving everything in the hands of their son and Noopur’s parents. When asked, Rahul’s mother replied with a benign smile hovering round her lips that she trusted her son fully and respected his choice. She argued that it was he who would have to spend his life with the girl he married. Hence, it was none of her business to interfere in this matter. Impeccably dressed, she looked extremely beautiful, smart, elegant, confident and highly understanding, commanding admiration and respect from all. Her compromising demeanour added a unique glow to her magnetic, majestic personality.

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trange are the ways of destiny and even more queer are the ways of human beings. Noopur’s own mother, a despot by nature who never got along well with her own mother-in-law and treated her with scant respect, instantly developed a strong liking for Rahul’s mother and raved endlessly over her compromising, non-interfering attitude much to the chagrin of Noopur. Her mother eulogised the woman’s sterling qualities so much that Noopur felt sick of her and grew immensely jealous of her would-be mother-in-law. As admiration for her mounted in her family so did Noopur’s dislike for that lady. In fact, Noopur was not to be blamed for the uncalled-for resentment simmering within her heart against her would-be mother-in-law even before her marriage. Since early childhood her mother had fed her on such a diet of hatred for all mothers-in-law in general that she had come to believe that all of them were some horrible creatures not to be respected but fit for loathing and humiliation, to be kept subdued by bullying them constantly as her mother did. Accustomed to hear harsh criticism against the whole tribe of momsin-law, this constant praise sounded jarring to

Noopur’s ears. Rahul’s mother had done absolutely nothing by word or action to merit Noopur’s dislike, but it was a brutal fact that she hated her no end. Since childhood, Noopur had been watching her mother’s behaviour closely. With a stern frown on her brows, her mother being a shrew, moved around the house like a general inspecting his troops, with a silver bunch of keys hanging at her waist. All the members including her father and grandmother whose very house she had usurped, were dependent on her to meet even their smallest needs. She took care to make friends with those people who did not get along well with her father and grandmother. She dressed shabbily to tarnish their good name and hurt them. To cause them intense agony she would ignore them in the presence of outsiders. She would go out of her way to pay respects to the parents-inlaw of her friends to earn their goodwill and admiration. As if that was not enough during sickness she would not take meals prepared by her mother-in-law but beg the neighbours or her own acquaintances to provide her meals to earn their sympathy. She never talked to her husband or her mother-in-law in a friendly manner. If they asked her anything she would either pretend not to hear them or snap at them rudely.

SHORT STORY

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oopur had seen many husbands reprimanding their erring wives severely for their small lapses but here was her mother getting away with such nasty behaviour. Her father, an engineer toiling hard at his workplace from morning till evening, had no energy left to put up with the strain of daily fights with his nasty wife. In the beginning, Noopur remembered well that he had tried to reason with her but she had refused to budge from her stand. Throwing tantrums, she had threatened her father with dire consequences if he ever dared to cross her and did not let her have her own way. She adopted the tactics to subdue him generally followed by worthless wives who have nothing to merit their husband’s love and respect. Ominously, she had hissed, “If you ever oppose me in future I would either commit suicide or desert you... and your children too... the choice is yours...” She had many tricks up her

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continue with her disrespectful attitude silently expressed through her gestures and actions. The next morning, Rahul’s mother generously handed Noopur a bunch of keys in a brief ceremony as a mark of shifting the responsibility of running the house to her shoulders. With unconcealed delight, Noopur almost grabbed the keys from her mother-inlaw’s hands. With a flourish, slipping it round her forefinger, she gave the bunch two or three whirls before tucking it the left side of her waist. Everyone stared aghast but she was past caring. ‘How I wish to have power in my hands and make them dance to my tunes as my mother does,’ she mused with evil glee. Rahul’s father, a very cheerful person, would get n the kind of atmosphere Noopur grew up it was up early in the morning, prepare morning tea and but natural for her to be adversely prejudiced called each family member to join him, lovingly against her mom-in-law even before her beaming with a broad smile. Unlike Noopur’s marriage. With evil glee, she would often imagine father, he took a keen interest in all the her towering personality crumpling to household activities and shared jokes with pieces in fear her mother’s stern gaze like Rahul’s father, the whole family making them roar with her grandmother. a very cheerful laughter. The house throbbed with his lively Soon, the grand day arrived. On the person, would presence. Noopur secretly appreciated this nearest auspicious date, Rahul and Noopur were married with great fanfare get up early in kind of congeniality and even expressed her pleasure to her mother telephonically to mark the gala event. As her mother the morning, that she had missed in her own parental bade her farewell whispering words of prepare home. advice in her ears, Noopur replied morning tea The only thing that Noopur did not like confidently allaying her fears, “Don’t you and called each was Rahul giving too much attention to his worry. I am your daughter. I will follow in family member parents. She shared her misgivings with your footsteps...” to join him, her mother who promptly taught her the Feeling on cloud nine at bagging such lovingly ropes to alienate him from his parents. In a gem of a husband, Noopur entered the beaming with her mother’s remote control, Noopur soon portals of her in-laws’ home. There stood a broad smile. embarked upon her mission of isolating her her mom-in-law resplendent in all her glory husband from his parents by using all the with a brass plate in her hands to accord dirty tricks that her mother taught her. Try as she the newly-wed couple a grand traditional welcome. might, she could not penetrate the granite-hard fort She looked dignified and serene. After the of their bonds of love which hard grown stronger customary arati, she kissed both on their heads over the years. lovingly. Welcoming rituals over, Rahul touched her feet as a mark of respect but Noopur, possessed by hwarted in her attempt to bore holes of a demon of hatred, ignored her completely and dissension in their strong wall of mutual trust looked elsewhere deliberately. Rahul whispered and understanding, Noopur spent sleepless softly in her ear to follow suit but she pretended not nights scheming and planning. This began to tell to hear him. She had silently expressed her dislike upon her health and dark circles appeared under for his mother by not paying respects to her. her eyes. Blissfully ignorant of her plight, her motherThe whole day passed jubilantly among their in-law offered to rub oil to cool her head so that relatives celebrating a series of rituals marking the Noopur would get peaceful, undisturbed sleep at auspicious arrival of the new bride in their home. night. Rahul took leave to take her out for Before retiring to their bedroom at night, the newlyentertainment. Her father-in-law lost no time in weds touched the feet of all the elders seeking their calling his family friend Dr Srinivas for a routine blessings but Noopur again disregarded Rahul’s check-up to find out if she had developed some mother on purpose. Though grieved at her malady all of a sudden. Finding none, they sighed misdemeanour, neither Rahul nor his mother ever with relief visibly and made Noopur feel guilty. No discussed her lapse. They carried on their affairs as if nothing amiss had happened. Not being censured physical ailment tormented her. They knew not that she was the victim of her own adverse thoughts that for her misdemeanour emboldened Noopur to sleeve and put them to use at the slightest excuse. She ill-treated him with indifference and disrespect. She was highly extravagant and spent Noopur’s father’s hard-earned money on her own relatives and acquaintances. For her own people there was no dearth of funds but if Noopur’s grandmother needed anything, her mother would kick up a fuss and create such an ugly scene that the poor soul had stopped asking for anything. Her mother ruled the roost by creating a fear psychosis to subdue them. Nobody loved her. Noopur thought that her grandmother was a little fairy in the captivity of a demon that her mother was.

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tormented her day and night by not letting her be in peace. Overwhelmed by their love and concern, Noopur felt ill at ease in the family’s presence. Extreme anxiety and nervousness turned her jittery making her jump at every sound as if someone was going to catch her red-handed doing something wrong.

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hile Noopur was going through tremendous mental stress for no reason, Ravi, her younger brother, sought her help to make their headstrong mother accede to his earnest wish to marry his long-time friend and colleague, Nisha, whom he loved deeply. Owing to pressure from Nisha’s parents, he was under duress and eager to solemnise his marriage soon. Nisha’s parents argued that he had already put off his marriage long enough waiting for his sister’s. Since she was married and well settled now there was no need to postpone it any further. If delayed, he feared he might lose his lady love. Hearing the plight of her brother, Noopur’s mind instantly got diverted from her own non-existent problem weighing on her mind. On the horns of a dilemma, she knew not how to convince her obdurate mother to make her acquiesce in fulfilling Ravi’s desire. Being still in awe of her mother’s stubbornness, she dared not broach the subject of Ravi’s secret affair with Nisha, for Noopur knew that if her mother refused once, no amount of cajoling could make her budge from her stand. Knowing her wicked nature well, the second cause of her worry was that her mother would torture her brother’s wife too as she did other family members. Tossing and turning in her bed, Noopur spent sleepless nights devising a solution to Ravi’s problem. Then a bright idea struck her all of a sudden. Since her mother nursed very soft feelings for Rahul, Noopur sought his help in the matter and managed to make her mother consent to Ravi’s marriage with Nisha. Soon, the lovelorn couple was united at a gala function much to her elation and satisfaction. Wedding over, as soon as the newly-wed couple left for their honeymoon she returned home and resumed her efforts anew to alienate Rahul from his parents. Hardly a fortnight had elapsed when her mother’s plaintive cry

over the phone for help disturbed Noopur’s mental equilibrium already shattered owing to her repeated failures in tearing her husband away from his parents. For the first time in her life, Noopur had heard her mother’s piteous wailing. It was she who would browbeat others into crying. Something serious must have happened to make her mother so upset to give her frantic call. It was then revealed that Nisha, Ravi’s wife, an English lecturer, had an imposing personality. She was a wilful woman. Assertive by nature, she was accustomed to having her own way. In spite of her parents’ stiff opposition, she had remained hell-bent on marrying Ravi. With her unyielding attitude she had succeeded in eventually making her parents come round to accede to her wish. Her love marriage with Ravi was ample proof of her strong will. She had openly denounced Noopur’s autocratic mother refusing to obey her dictates outright from the day she returned from her honeymoon.

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isapproving her domineering attitude Nisha totally condemned the way her mom-in-law ran the house. Since Noopur’s mother had not yet given her the responsibility of running the house, she demanded the keys to be handed over to her immediately. If she did not comply with her wishes, Nisha threatened to leave the house with Ravi there and then and settle elsewhere. She also made it clear in no uncertain terms that she would not share Ravi with his mother or with anybody else. Being very possessive, Nisha wanted to possess Ravi fully, body and soul. Frightened out of her wits when Noopur’s mother tried to chat her up as a placebo, but Nisha gave her the cold shoulder saying, “Now the time is ripe for you to retire and place yourself beside your husband in the cold storage where you have put him for your convenience. Understand? I am not going to be taken in by your sugariness. Don’t you ever try to sweet-talk me. You can’t fool me. I am wise to your tricks...” On another occasion, weary of hearing her mother-in-law’s harangues, Nisha had thundered, “Enough! Cut out your sermon. I am not your husband. Don’t ever try to cross me or subjugate me into silence. Is that clear?” For the first time in her life, Noopur’s mother had an encounter with her equal – nay, a bigger bully than herself. It was the ultimate equation. In her wildest dreams, she had never imagined meeting a more powerful opponent in her own home as a deterrent to her own despotic behaviour. Battered, she had run in panic to her husband shedding tears copiously and entreating him to intervene and do something to rein in the self-willed

Nisha, but he had just shrugged his shoulders indifferently. Her constant nagging and bullying had rendered him so meek and subdued that nothing seemed to arouse him to action. She had weakened the roots of the tree that provided her sustenance, shelter and protection. Her loveless, aggressive attitude had eaten the vitality and sapped the strength of the pillar that propped her up. Her husband turned into a dumb robot and with Noopur gone after her marriage, Noopur’s mother leaned on Ravi for moral support. The very thought of Ravi being torn apart from her mercilessly had caused her unbearably intense agony. On a razor’s edge, she ran desperately from pillar to post appealing for help in vain. Noopur clutched her throbbing head in both her hands to devise an amicable way to extricate her mother from the painful predicament. Light of understanding dawned on her all of a sudden. Following in the footsteps of her mother, she too was ill-treating her mother-in-law and was trying hard to sow the seeds of dissension in her new home since her arrival there. She had failed in her mission but her brother’s wife had succeeded because her

mother had provided her the right soil and atmosphere to breed the demons of discord. As she strained Noopur mind to find a way out to her mother’s problem, her own blurred vision began to clear. She felt as if a great burden was lifted off her head. She realised that her mother-in-law was an angel. In the morning, she rang her mother up. Apprising her of the pleasant atmosphere and the congeniality among all the family members in her husband’s home, she said, “Ma, your problem has opened my eyes. In fact, in your problem lies the solution to my problem. Nisha is doing what you had been doing for long. Do make some concessions for the sake of your family to keep it united. It will not hurt you but stand you in good stead. Create a delightfully peaceful ambience... Help yourself... ma... please...” As her mother heard her in stunned silence, Noopur’s heart went out to her. She added in a reassuring tone, “Don’t you worry, ma. Ravi will not leave you. I am sure, with a little compromising attitude, you can win his wife over.” With that, Noopur turned her attention to setting We things right in her own in-laws’ home.

As the social scale will continue to tip against the working woman, she has to muster courage to defend her honour.
By I. M. Soni

HARASSMENT

OF

WORKING WOMEN

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university research scholar complained that her guide made sexual overtures to her. She bore this for obvious reasons. But when he crossed the limits of tolerance and decency, she complained to the vice chancellor. A committee, from the faculty of the university, was formed to look into the matter. The finding, as expected, was the woman research scholar was of a dubious character that she attempted to seduce her guide to get the doctorate degree. The “guilty” professor was exonerated. An Army officer tried to sexually harass his subordinate. He asked for sexual favours. She refused. A chain of events followed. Media exposed it.

Sexual harassment at the workplace is unwelcome sexual advances, hints, direct or indirect, for sexual favours, verbal offences, or giving signals through suggestive pictures. In recent years, the publicity given to VIP cases has increased public awareness of this nuisance to women workers. Studies have revealed that threefourths of working women complain that they have been harassed at some point or other. Some men do it ‘decently’. One unmarried receptionist says, “My boss has never made an indecent pass at me. I was taken back when one day, he held my hand and invited me to dinner. I declined. He did not repeat his proposal.” It appears that present-day organisations have not kept pace with the spurt in sexual harassment incidents. This is all the more applicable to women working at lower levels at the workplace. One woman working as a storekeeper in a bank complains that the boss comes on the sly to the store in the basement and plays all kinds of silly suggestive tricks with her. She got herself transferred from her position.

This can assume alarming proportions. As it did in the case involving the son of a VIP politician who raped a nurse employed in the house to manage his wife. The negative impact of sexual harassment is devastating for a political career even if the accused secures a non-conviction order from a court of law. It is highly damaging for an organisation because it can bring negative media blasts, law suits and public relations nightmares. One chief manager of a bank says, “This causes many problems. It leads to absenteeism. The affected woman worker tends to be absent on one pretext or the other.”

ATMOSPHERE OF LOW MORAL
Another, running a big commercial college, says, “The worst is that it creates an atmosphere of low moral. Other women employees also begin to shirk work, following the conduct of the harassed victim.” In industrial units these aspects lead to lower productivity. In office work, if the harassed steno or typist absents herself, and the boss finds himself at a quandary, the letters piling up which is an adverse reflection on his efficiency. Sexual harassment at higher levels usually goes unnoticed and unreported. Decency, courtesy, good manners, fear of bad publicity, lowering the woman’s standing in society or official circles, stand in the way. Litigation is thus ruled out. But, there are exceptions. In an infamous case, a high ranking police officer was accused of “slapping the bottom” of a lady IAS officer at a cocktail party. She sued the former, the case dragged on for years. In this case, the IAS officer with a solid financial status also had the moral courage to stand up to a VIP.

“MY BOSS HAS NEVER MADE AN INDECENT PASS AT ME. I WAS TAKEN BACK WHEN ONE DAY, HE HELD MY HAND AND INVITED ME TO DINNER. I DECLINED. HE DID NOT REPEAT HIS PROPOSAL.”

But what happens when the woman whose bottom is slapped by a “high” officer has neither moral nor material strength to arraign him? Sexual harassment of a woman goes on and not only at official parties. She is subjected to suggestive and humiliating overtures by men who drool over her anatomy. The “juicier” the woman, the greater the risk of sexual harassment she faces at her workplace.

NEED MORAL COURAGE
Some strong women have the moral courage to stand against men but others suffer silently. The former may report the matter to their bosses privately (not in writing). The bosses reprimand the offenders. And brakes are applied to the erratic as well as erotic behaviour. In some cases, the offended women react angrily, and settle the matter in her own “court” by dispensing justice to the culprit by slapping him on the spot. The man crawls away like a worm. But the beast in man wakes up any moment. A man who till now had controlled the fields outside the home, cannot tolerate woman in equal positions. He considers her a “sex apparatus” – at office or home! On 13 August 1997, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines against sexual harassment at the workplace and other institutions and directed employers to set up procedures through which women could make their complaints heard. The apex court had made it mandatory for the Centre, State Governments, and private and public sector undertakings to ensure that women do not work in a “hostile” environment. The meaning and content of fundamental rights are “sufficient amplitude to encompass all the facets of gender equality including prevention of sexual harassment or abuse,” it has noted. Sexual harassment as defined by the court is: “Such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as Woman’s Era

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AS DEFINED BY THE COURT IS: “SUCH UNWELCOME SEXUALLY DETERMINED BEHAVIOUR (WHETHER DIRECTLY OR BY IMPLICATION) AS PHYSICAL CONTACT AND ADVANCES, A DEMAND OR REQUEST FOR SEXUAL FAVOURS,

physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.” The survey conducted by the National Commission for Women found that a majority of women were not even aware of the Supreme Court guidelines. Educating women about the Supreme Court guidelines is the only remedy. This will bring awareness in working women for their protection. Men who indulge in “dirty” tricks will know about the consequences. This will deter them from making sexual advances. For the working women in the country this is going to be a prolonged fight. Because one judgement cannot change the mindset of the people, especially in our country which is tradition-bound. However, it cannot be denied that women themselves have to be more vigilant and upright than they are at present. They have to be “active” rather than “passive”. A snub to the offending male puts him on the defensive. The woman who fights shy of seeking help may come home with a bleeding psyche. A tongue-lashing on the spot may prevent this. She must also be aware that basically it is a question of her own morals and the kind of image she projects of herself. Why do men choose a particular woman as a target of their lust? The National Commission of Women has come out with the following code of conduct at the workplace, it is in tune with a Supreme Court judgement: No unsavoury and sexist remarks. No innuendoes. No forcible physical touching or brushing against any part of the body. No physical confinement against one’s will. No display of pornographic or offensive pictures, cartoons or pamphlets. No treating women employees as We sex objects.

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April (Second) 2009

NANDINI SARMA, WHO WROTE HER NAME ON AN ASTEROID
Profile of young multi-faceted biomedical genius.
By G. V. Joshi

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n asteroid, also called a minor planet or planetoid, in our solar system has been named after a teenage Indian-American girl, Nandini Sarma, who won the first place at the 2007 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair for her microbiology project. The asteroid, which was discovered on 21 November 2000 by the Lincoln Laboratory Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR), has been named as 23228 Nandinisarma. She is the first woman of Indian origin to receive this honor. Nandini Sarma, a senior high school student at the Shawnee Mission East High School, Kansas, USA, has recently received several awards and wide recognition for her outstanding research work in biomedical sciences. Nandini is the Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

daughter of Girish and Minakhi Sarma from Assam who live at Overland Park, Kansas. Since her first year in high school, Nandini has been conducting research to find solutions to common health-related problems such as food-borne illnesses, cancer and viral infections. Her research on natural food preservatives revealed that garlic can effectively replace the harmful synthetic chemical preservatives from the food chain (meat and eggs), thus providing a health-friendly, easilyavailable and cost-effective natural alternative to prevent food-borne illnesses caused by consumption of salmonella and E. coli-contaminated meat and eggs. For cancer research, Nandini studied the effect of a selected virus infection on the Herpes virus induced tumor development in-vivo and its

affinity to kill transformed cells invitro. Although, from the preliminary studies, she came out with interesting findings and encouraging results, further work is in progress before coming to a final conclusion. Recently, Nandini started working on the pathobiology of the herpes simplex virus under the mentorship of Prof G. S. Read, one of the world's most renowned scientists in herpes simplex virus research. Her research findings were presented at the 32nd International Herpes virus Workshop and a research paper is being prepared for publishing in the Journal of Virology.

RECOGNITION AND AWARDS
Her research brought her several awards and recognition from the scientific community at the national as well as international level. She is the recipient of the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair (GKCSEF) first place grand award consisting of plaques, trophies, cash and certificates for three years in a row for outstanding achievements in biomedical research, and selected for all-expenses-paid trips to present her research findings at the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). At the Intel ISEF, Nandini's research projects won several awards including the first place grand award in microbiology, fourth grand award in medicine and health, second special award from the AVASC foundation, first place award consisting of a plaque, certificate of achievement and cash from the US Air Force, and first place award consisting of a gold medallion, cash and certificate of achievement from the US Army. At the 2007 Intel ISEF, she was also selected for an all-expensespaid trip to participate in the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) held in London from 24 July to 8 August, 2007. A total of 250 selected high school students from 61 countries partici pated for this year's International

Youth Science Forum in London. Science research is not the only passion for Nandini. She is equally involved in various other activities. She is an avid debater and prolific writer and has won several medals and other awards at the local and regional debate competitons, literature and writing contests. She has won the Sons of the American Revolution's (SAR) American history essay and oration contests at the state level competitions and got selected to represent Kansas at the national contest for two consecutive years. At the national competition, she won the third place award for the American history essay contest and received medals, certificates and cash awards. Besides being a top ranking student in her high school class, she is also a national merit semifinalist. Nandini also loves music very much. She has been playing the piano since she was six. In music also, she has received several awards. Besides the piano, Nandini also loves to dance. She has been learning to dance since she was seven years old. Currently, she is learning Indian classical dance (Bharatanatyam). She also performs and choreographs various Indian folk dances including the bihu dance of Assam. She loves to play sports as well. She has been playing tennis and soccer and is in her school's tennis team. One of her biggest passions,

however, is community service. Her first fundraiser event was a "Used Book Sale" that raised over $4,000 towards building schools, hiring teachers, etc. in Guatemala. Currently, she is the chairperson of her school's AIDS awareness programme (a community education project). For outstanding community service, she was awarded the President's student's service award (gold) during her junior year at high school. For undergraduate study, Nandini has been accepted to all the universities she applied for including Princeton, Yale, Stanford, MIT and Harvard. Nandini has finally decided to join Harvard University. Her elder brother Arup Sarma is an equally brilliant student and has graduated from the well-known Massachusetts We Institute of Technology. 33

Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

QA
&

Q & A
I have an eight-month-old son. I introduced solids when he was about five-and-half months. My worry is that he does not like the idea of eating and does not seem hungry, no matter what. As a result of this he is not gaining weight. The doctor has prescribed various medicines. As long as he takes them he starts eating well but only for a few days. I am still breastfeeding him and he seems to like it. Otherwise he appears active and healthy. His eating habits are driving me nuts. Please help me improve his diet. Even children as young as this have individual preferences. Look out for his likes and serve bigger portions of these foods. Sometimes mothers give babies an increased quantity of breast milk as they are not eating well, which in turn kills their appetite and they refuse solids. Decrease his intake of breast milk gradually over a period of time so that he feels hungry enough to take solid foods. My daughter is 11 months old and ever since she began teething at six months of age, she has stopped bottle feeding. I have tried all the milk preparations like Bournvita, Complan, Horlicks and milk shakes but nothing works. I want to stop breastfeeding as she is 11 months old. Although she eats solid food, it is not in sufficient amounts as she needs a breastfeed after every meal. She gets cranky, especially during the night. It has been a month since I have slept properly. Please help. You could try milk in other forms 34

such as curds, custard, kheer etc. You could also increase the portions of solid foods. Though there is no harm in giving breast milk to an 11-month-old child, I think your daughter has made it more a habit of latching onto your breast after every meal for, by this age, most children, even those who take proper feeds and adequate amounts of milk, sleep through the night. It is high time that her sleeping habits are regularised. Give her a good meal at night, maybe even some breast milk, and put her to bed.

ensure overall development, talk with her as much as you can. In a short while you will be holding a conversation with her for whenever you utter endearments she will reply with happy cooing sounds. You could sing to her, massage her personally to increase bonding and hang a musical, colourful toy over her cot that attracts her attention. At this age she must have begun teething for which you could get her teething rings that are made of good plastic. Do not buy her stuffed toys as of now, as she might get smothered in them. Furry toys are also not a good idea as they can cause allergy.

I have a seven-month-old daughter who tires of her toys very quickly. What kind of toys can I get her and what games can I play with her to ensure her overall development? Children have a very short attention span, therefore it is but natural that she tires of her toys so quickly. Do not worry about that. To

My six-year-old daughter has dry skin on her legs and buttocks. This causes itching. I would like to know what it is due to and what is the remedy for it. Your daughter is probably suffering from skin allergy. Please take her to a paediatrician and/or skin specialist. Keeping the skin moisturised is also a good idea.

My wife has delivered recently. Please tell me how often we should bathe our baby and what is the right method of giving a bath. It is not necessary to give the baby a bath every day. In fact it should be avoided till the cord has fallen off. In the meantime you could sponge her with a clean, wet washcloth, taking care to wipe the area of the neck, the armpits, the groin and the cleft of the buttocks. Once the baby is ready for a bath, make sure that you have all that you need with you for on no account can the baby be left alone during a bath, even for a second. The baby should be bathed in a warm place. Fan and air-conditioner should be switched off. The eyelids should be cleaned first with separate sterile swabs for each eye, from the inner to the outer edges. Next the ears and the area behind the ears should be cleaned. The baby should be held in the arms his or her scalp washed with soap and dried with a towel. The genital and anal areas should be wiped cleaned first; then the body should be lathered with soap taking care to give special attention to the groins and armpits. Now lower the baby into a tub of warm water and wash thoroughly. Pat the baby dry with a towel; do not rub. Wipe the area of the navel dry and clean with a spirit swab. – Dr Amrinder Bajaj, MD.

Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

The new woman has undergone a complete transformation.
By Padmaja Menon

A white lie
In the eighties there was a scarcity of maids at Mettur Dam. So we all kept our mouths shut for whatever our maid did lest we lose her. One day, our maid Akkamma told my wife, “Madam, my husband has vowed to Tirumala temple to offer his hair. To accomplish the vow he is proceeding to Tirumala next Sunday and returning on Friday. If you donate some amount to us, it will be helpful to meet his travel expenses. He estimates the total expenses would be Rs 2000.” My wife looked at me. How could I keep mum when our maid asks? I immediately gave her Rs 2000. My wife also gave her Rs 1000 separately to deposit in the temple treasury. On Monday, Akkamma promptly informed us that her husband had commenced his journey on the previous day. On Saturday she said he had safely returned after fulfilling his vow. A few days later, unexpectedly, I saw her husband at a tea stall. But his head had a full load of hair. Seeing me he immediately rushed away. But I did not open my mouth about this before Akkamma. If I did, I was sure we would certainly lose our maid. Now about 20 years have passed. But even now we remember Akkamma and her tactfulness of collecting a huge amount from us. – S. Palanisamy, Madurai.

NEW-AGE
WOMAN

THE

T

he new-age woman is sexy remember the Santoor ad? and smart and proud of herself. She's not apologetic about being herself, earning more than her father/ husband/neighbour, or about handling bad marriages and relation ships. “It's my life,” seems to be the song on every woman's lips today – and why not? She has waited long enough for that freedom and now that she has got it she's holding on to it, come what may. If concentrating on career and being focussed on goals makes her self-centred, so be it. The glass ceiling has been shattered and today women are being accepted as equals in the work-place and also globally even though it took a lot of persistence and effort. The most evident change is in the doormat housewife. No longer known as only the housewife, she is now not

even a “homemaker” but the “domestic engineer” who juggles work outside and inside. She's smart to see that work is not one-sided any more. She makes it clear that she is not a superwoman and cannot be everywhere and also that a house and its work load belong to both the partners and so she insists on them sharing the workload equally (well, almost). She does not believe in taking time off from work because her baby is sick. She prefers to have a choice – either she or her husband – whoever can take time off. Neither does she take kindly to be blamed for anything that goes wrong in the house. A little bit of sugar and lots of spice – that's the new Indian housewife, smart and sexy to boot. She's evolved – adapted to the new future. She's confident and balanced emotionally, personally and professionally. Three cheers to the We new-age woman! Woman’s Era

April (Second) 2009

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DUBAI DIARY EPISODE - 2

BACKDROP UP FRONT
Dubai’s desert environment is a fascinating historical, geographic and sociological tapestry. A glimpse.
By Kasturi Rangachari

THE

D

ubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is situated on the northeastern part of the Arab peninsula and is bordered to the south and west by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to the east and north by the Sultanate of Oman. The seven emirates that make up the UAE are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate and Dubai comes next, with an area of 3,885 square kilometers out of the total UAE area of 83,600 square kilometers. The area surrounding the city of Dubai consists of sandy desert and salt flats ( sabkha ). But to the east rise the Hajar Mountains. The highest point in these mountains is Jebel

The Jumeirah Mosque where the mosque visit was held.

Yibir (1,527 mts). Dubai, which is on the coast, sits on the banks of a creek—a natural inlet from the Gulf – that divides the city into two. The Emirate of Dubai is a land of startling contrasts. There are endless stretches of desert, rocky mountains, windy and rough seas and small but modern towns just outside the main city of Dubai. The climate is a typically desert climate – hot days and cool, even cold, nights. But the heat is no problem in modern Dubai as every single place and vehicle – every high rise apartment block, villa, shop, mall, restaurant, work place, commercial complex, government building, taxi, bus, car, you name it – is air-conditioned. Even the lowest paid manual labourers live in air-conditioned dormitories, though they have to work in the open under the scorching sun during the day. Low-rent housing has room ACs, better apartments have split-level ACs and the more expensive apartments have central AC. In fact, it is not unusual to see people wearing sweaters and scarves as they walk around the malls of this “desert” city or work in its offices! I myself love the cold but can’t tolerate it too well. So I wear a light sweater and a pair of fluffy, soft, fur-lined slippers at home and carry a shawl when I go to a mall or movie hall.

Persian and Indian roots) and began to use it as a centre for their operations. The sheikhs also recognised the strategic importance of the Creek and improved facilities there to attract more traders. The city thus came to specialize in the import and re-export of goods (especially gold to India) and it was this importre-export trade that became the

TRANSFORMATION
The story of Dubai’s growth and progress is truly astonishing, especially since the emirate has few raw materials or special advantages. Till almost the end of the 19th century it was an unremarkable backwater populated by people whose only means of livelihood were fishing, pearl-diving and subsistence farming. But thanks to the far-sighted Sheikhs (belonging to the Maktoum family) who have ruled Dubai from 1830, the emirate has been transformed. Encouraged by the far-sighted and liberal attitudes of the rulers, Indian and Persian traders were attracted to Dubai early (some natives have

foundation for Dubai’s progress and development. In 1958 huge oil reserves were discovered in Abu Dhabi. In fact the emirate has an incredible 10 per cent of the world’s known oil reserves. It also has the fifth-largest natural gas reserves in the world. In 1966, oil was also discovered in Dubai – though much less than was discovered in Abu Dhabi. By this time Dubai was already a relatively wealthy trading centre. But the oil revenue helped Dubai develop an enviable infrastructure in roads, housing, education, healthcare, water and electricity before the oil wells ran almost dry. Dubai has ground water, but since rainfall is scanty and erratic, the level of the water has been falling at the rate of one metre per year for the last 30 years. Add to this the facts that climatic conditions make for high consumption of water and that the population has been growing fast for the last few decades and you have a situation in which water was bound to be problem. Woman’s Era

But, even though the UAE has the highest water consumption in the world (more than 100 gallons per capita per day and per capita consumption of 265 litres of bottled water per year!), foresight, planning and the fact that there is no paucity of money in the emirate have solved the problem at least for the present. This is through the setting up of desalination plants (which used the reverse osmosis process till the ‘90s and more modern technology since then) to make brackish water potable. The plants run on gas. But Dubai did not have the work force needed for all that had to be done and thus began the influx of workers into the emirate that continues to this day. In 2005 the total population of Dubai was 4.041m out of which 3.23m were expats! 50 per cent of these expats are from South Asia (mainly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – with the largest number being from India). The rest are from the other Emirates, from other Arab countries, from Europe and from East Asia 37

April (Second) 2009

(mainly the Philippines). Less than 20 per cent of the population of Dubai consists of UAE citizens. From the beginning people loved to come and work in Dubai. Lots of low-skilled workers dreamed and still dream of getting jobs in the emirate because wages are better here than in their home countries. Educated people in executive and management jobs also get better pay scales – with the added attraction that they don’t have to pay income tax!

CONSTRUCTION BOOMING
This is still a big plus-point, though over the last decade or so, the government has begun to charge for many services and facilities which were earlier free or for which very low charges were levied. For instance, visa charges have risen, one has to pay for parking in areas in which it was earlier free, one has to pay toll charges on several roads, etc. So much construction work was taking place in Dubai till recently that 70 per cent or so of all employment was in the construction sector. Now construction has slowed down because of the world-wide economic

recession and the percentage must be lower though there aren’t figures available yet. Wherever you look in Dubai, you will see young people. Of course, there are old locals and tourists, but otherwise, most expats go back when they are not able to renew their visas, when they have made enough money, when they have had enough of life away from home or when they reach retirement age. They cannot normally become citizens of Dubai, though an occasional distinguished expat is given citizenship by the rulers as acknowledgement of his contribution to the Dubai economy. People in business can stay on as long as they are running their businesses. Expats from the same country tend to live in the same area and shops set up by their countrymen and specialising in foodstuffs and other items unique to that country, will be found in these areas. But there is a healthy mixture of nationalities and cultures in both workplaces and in the cultural life of Dubai. All told, Dubai has been an enormous success story. A small town in the middle of endless desert has become, in an amazingly short

span of time, a fairyland of spanking new high-rise buildings, gardens, broad roads filled with fast-moving, gleaming cars, crowds of prosperous people of every hue, huge malls with every possible high-end brand, not just about four dozen five-star hotels, but even a seven-star one (the Burj Al Arab), marinas filled with boats, facilities for golf, water sports, desert safaris, ballooning and…well just let your imagination run wild and it’s all here! But the world-wide recession has hit Dubai hard as it has practically every other country in the world. Construction, the engine that powered growth for the last few decades, has slowed down and real estate prices have plunged. Big projects – like the Jumeirah Gardens project, the Jumeirah Islands project and the Palm Deira project – have all been “scaled down”. Even road and bridge construction have been affected because, according to rumours, the government has been slow in paying its contractors.

INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE
From around 2001 the government has allowed expats to purchase freehold property in certain earmarked areas. This was because a shortfall in homes and commercial property was emerging and rents were sky-rocketing. There was also the fact that the government wanted to keep construction booming and attracting expat investment into real estate would be killing two birds with one stone. Once the scheme was launched, many commercial buildings, apartment blocks and villas came up in the earmarked freehold areas and many expats invested in real estate. The ones who did so initially got very good deals but many followed a watch and wait policy to see how things worked out. When the scheme seemed successful and the government didn’t seem to be having second thoughts, many more expats bought property, though prices had begun to rise.

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Whole colonies for expats came up. Expats also began to see this as an investment opportunity and many of them began to buy property and pay the initial down payment, anticipating that prices would rise and that they could then sell their properties (even before they were completed) and make a killing. Many did, but the present downturn in the real estate market has put paid to the hopes of many more who are now finding themselves facing falling prices for properties they have bought but do not want. Looming threateningly ahead in the future, are the installment payments they will have to make for these properties----not at falling, but at the original rates! But if you haven’t already bought property, this is the time to do so.

EMPLOYMENT DROPPED
Today, because of the world-wide recession, employment is falling fast. The first to be affected are expats – because, naturally, the government has been quick to announce that locals cannot be easily laid off. Even expats who are highly placed officers and management executives had been pink-slipped and among them more Westerners have been retrenched than others. This is because Western expats are paid more than their South Asian counterparts for the same kinds of jobs in Dubai. As foreign workers cannot stay on in Dubai without a work visas, many have been forced to return to their own lands. And with large numbers of borrowers not being able to keep up with their car installments and home mortgage payments, banks have repossessed many of these assets. Dubai is an Islamic emirate and certain rules have to be followed even by members of other faiths. Friday is the main weekly holiday and when there is a two-day weekend, either Thursday or Saturday is attached to Friday. National holidays are all related to Islam or to days important to the emirate. I was in Dubai during the holy

month of Ramadan (which we call Ramzan in India) when all adult Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Government offices work shorter hours and even private companies allow their Muslim staff to leave early. No one, not even non-Muslims, can eat or drink in public between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan. No restaurants serve food during the day and even non-Muslims cannot nibble at their desks in their workplaces or even drink water in their own cars openly during this month of fasting. The Dubai government repeatedly tells “visitors” (meaning all tourists and expats) to be sensitive to the feelings of their “hosts,” meaning emirates or locals. But this does not mean that an Islamic lifestyle is imposed on nonMuslims. People can eat and drink in their homes during Ramadan (but not on their balconies where they can be seen by others!). Restaurants do brisk business in take away and home deliveries and workplaces ear mark small rooms as places where non-Muslims can go and eat and drink water. But the Dubai authorities are also practical. Since they are trying very hard to show-case Dubai as a sunfun-and-shopping tourist destination, five-star hotels serve food in their restaurants and rooms even during the daytime during Ramadan. Ramadan is a trying time for Muslims and, especially during the hot afternoons, tempers often flare up. In workplaces, non-Muslims treat their Muslim colleagues with caution and the papers are full of police entreaties for people to drive carefully especially when they are on their way to break their fasts. This is because the number of accidents goes up sharply during Ramadan – especially during the first few days of fasting and in the days just before Eid. But the truth is that, in many ways, this Islamic country is much more “liberal” than many so-called secular countries. After the Babri Masjid was demolished, there was some unrest here and a temple in one of the main market areas was attacked and Indian shops near it were damaged. Woman’s Era

DUBAI IS AN ISLAMIC EMIRATE AND CERTAIN RULES HAVE TO BE FOLLOWED EVEN BY MEMBERS OF OTHER FAITHS.

But the trouble was firmly and promptly quelled. Some Pakistan troublemakers were sternly dealt with and affected shopkeepers were given generous compensation. Again, when an IMF-WB conference was held in Dubai in 2003, Israel not only attended the conference but the Dubai government also ensured that there was no trouble over this and no noisy demonstrations. The only demonstrator in sight outside the venue of the conference was, in fact, a white woman protesting against other IMF-WB policies. This liberal face of Dubai slipped a little from world view when in this edition of the Dubai Open tennis tournament, the emirate refused an Israeli woman tennis player, Shahar Peer, a visa. There was a hullabaloo 39

April (Second) 2009

about this and the WTA threatened to take Dubai off its tour calendar from 2010. Dubai caved in and a male tennis player was later given a visa, but the Dubai Tennis Association still faces a fine which it is appealing. However, as many will agree, there was grave provocation for Dubai’s action. The 22-day Israeli assault on Gaza in last December and January during which 1300 people, one third of them women and children, were killed, shocked every single thinking person in the world while it traumatized and infuriated Arabs. It was in response to this blood-shed that Dubai denied the Israeli a visa, saying that they could not guarantee her safety.

GENUINE DESIRE
But as all non-Muslims and expats living in Dubai will agree, there is a genuine desire here to help foreigners and non-Muslims understand the culture of the emirate. On one of my previous visits to Dubai, I attended a “mosque visit”, together with a busload of Western tourists. I had seen the visit advertised in the papers and had been intrigued enough to turn up at the time specified. Before we entered the mosque, those of us who had our legs, arms and heads bare were given scarves and shawls and requested to cover up. My salwar, full-sleeved kameez and dupatta

outfit was much appreciated by the guides! We were first shown around the mosque which was well-constructed, cool and beautifully decorated. I could not take my eyes away from the huge and most amazing stained glass windows that were everywhere! Later we all sat down on the deep pile carpets that covered the floor in the main hall and a Muslim woman spoke to us about Islam. She was a Swiss girl who had been drawn to Islam and had converted. She had later married an Arab. She spoke with deep conviction, though not at all in a fanatical manner, and explained to us that Islam is compassionate and rational. Later she offered to answer questions. A European boy of about 10 was the first to raise his hand. “Why do you all make so much noise at prayer-time?” he asked. Our hostess was a bit confused and taken aback till she understood that the boy was referring to the azaan or call to prayer which is broadcast over a public address system from every mosque. She then laughed and told us about the Muslim belief that prayers were community affairs and that there were strict timings for them. This was why there was a loud call to prayer from every mosque five times a day, she explained. During Ramadan, the authorities also invite tourists and non-Muslim

expats to visit the homes of locals, break the Ramadan fast with them at sunset, relax in their company and then stay for dinner. I would have loved to go for one of these visits but have always been deterred by the fact that the food served is almost completely non-vegetarian and I would only embarrass my hosts by going to their home and refusing to eat anything! The Arabs are extremely hospitable and it is just not done to refuse food when they offer it. Traditionally, every Arab who can afford to do so, gives food and drink in charity when the fast is broken at sunset, every evening of the holy month. The tradition followed for many centuries was for people to put up tents in front of their home (tents are a very beloved part of Arab culture) and serve food to travelers, the poor, passersby and neighbours and friends. But with Dubai being “modernised” this practice is being discontinued – much to the dismay of older people but to the relief of the women and servants of the house who had to prepare huge amounts of food while themselves fasting the whole day! Naalini washed and vacuumed and mopped – and talked. One of the first things she told us was, “I am not a Tamil!” We are Tamilians and did not quite understand whether she was assuring us that she wasn’t a member of the LTTE, announcing her political affiliations or warning us not to take liberties with her! Naalini was one of six siblings and her father worked as a cleaner in a Colombo hotel. “We suffered a lot when I was a child,” she said. “Often there wasn’t even enough food for us to eat. My eldest brother desperately wanted to go and work in Singapore or somewhere in the Middle-east. He didn’t get a chance – but I did!” Naalini’s chance had come in the form of an offer from a family friend to get her a job in a “maid agency” in Dubai. Naalini had jumped at the offer and had come to Dubai six months earlier. Her work visa had been sponsored by the agency. We

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QA
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Q & A

and add a toner for home. You might need soft cotton and earbuds for cleaning make-up depending on how much you use and if you use waterproof products. For make-up you need mascara and base colour eyeshadow, for lips a lip liner and lipstick or just gloss if you don’t wear lipstick. Make-up for travel should include a blusher and bronzing powder for the times when you need to glow. Tissues and lip balm in a bag is a good idea.

replenish the loss of moisture. When your skin shines you can blot the excess on tissue or the special blotting paper some companies have begun to sell in India which is for single use but effective.

Is it true that make-up like clothes has seasonal colours? And is it predicted or just arrives on its own? So what is the shade of make-up for 2009? The seasonal colours of clothes and make-up are often decided by the international and national fashion shows. These colours and textures are often predicted well in advance so that make-up companies can formulate them in advance. Yes, the colours of 2009 are more yellow and green on the eyes and pinks are expected to be big for cheeks and lips during summer months.

I feel my eyelashes have become very weak. I have stopped using any eye make-up, what else can I do? In normal cases eyelashes keep falling off and new hair appears regularly. If there is hair loss that is faster than regrowth, there could be a variety of reasons. It is best to consult a dermatologist to rule out any infection or inflammation. At night you can apply a drop of olive oil. You are right in not using eye make-up unless you establish the reason behind the loss of eyelashes.

If I do not want to wear matching nail polish on my hands and feet, what rule should I follow? I do not have the time to change both regularly so want to mix and match. What are the rules for that? Changing nail polish regularly is difficult to maintain so you can leave the toenails with a base colour like a beige or very light pink that matches everything. Then you can play around with the colour on your hands. Also, you could use light nail colour first and then coat it with a darker shade in a day or so without removing the earlier one though that does mean that polish will chip sooner.

I want to decide on a basic make-up box contents. I tend to have so much in my bag and when I travel I am reeling under the make-up goodies I carry. Help me decide the minimum and necessary in the bag for beauty and for skin care. Many companies have ‘travel’ sizes so you don’t have to travel with the big sizes. For skin care keep a cleanser and moisturiser for travel

How much moisturiser do I need in summer? I am a lawyer and work in the sun also at times. If I use too much my skin begins to shine and if I use too little then my skin dries. What should I do? Ideally the moisturising should change with the season. Winter needs heavier moisturisers but in summer you need something that is light yet provides moisture. Use water-based products and during the day just use a water spritzer to

However much care I take of my skin in summer, I do get a tan and the worst is my hair, it becomes oily but brittle, I really do not know what to do. Taking care of skin and hair during extreme heat and cold is a balance of right products and protection against the sun. There are sun control for skin and hair (UV block) which needs to be used to minimise sun damage. Also use leave-in conditioner for hair and cover the hair when out in the sun. Make fruit packs for face and hair and apply for half an hour each before washing off and use a good quality moisturiser.

Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

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Enticingly
Curly

Any trendy woman in this hairdo will be at her best in this simple and seductive look!

Wavy look

Simplistic & curly

Modernistic

Traditional

If you step out with an elegantly dressed – up, hair you cannot fail to attract all those who matter. Try these hairstyles and see the effect.

Unusual & inventive

CAVINKARE ABILITY
AWARD 2009
CavinKare Ability Awards are given to people who shine in different fields despite their disabilities.
By Vanathi Siva

7

th

T
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he seventh CavinKare Ability award 2009 ceremony was organised in Chennai at the Sir Muthu Venkata Subba Rao concert hall (inside Lady Andal School campus) on 14th March 09. The grand colourful presentation function was jointly organised by CavinKare and the Ability Foundation for disabled. The media partners are Woman’s Era, Dainik Bhaskar, Ernst & Young, The Hindu, Big 92.07 FM, Vijay TV and Grihshobha. Ability Foundation is a national cross-disability umbrella organisation, headquartered in Chennai involved in advocacy, empowerment and the rights of persons with disabilities. The foundation acts as a bridge between people with and without disabilities and is involved in a spectrum of activities towards this, which include publishing, employment, media, culture, legislation and human rights.

CavinKare is an FMCG major that markets quality hair care, skin care, home care and food products both nationally and internationally. The CavinKare Ability award is given to the disabled persons with extraordinary ability which the able could not achieve in their lifetime. Awardees were selected from all over the country for their great ability. It is awarded to four persons in two categories, the CavinKare Ability Award for eminence carries a one lakh-rupee prize money and the CavinKare Ability Mastery Awards also carry a one lakh-rupee prize money each.

THE WINNERS
The winners of the CavinKare Ability Award for eminence, Javed Ahmed Tak from Jammu and Kashmir, who was maimed by a militant attack, spearheaded a movement for peace and Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

rehabilitation in a strife–torn town. He used the media to create awareness and satisfaction programmes on disability, and has established an organisation that caters to the needs of people with all disabilities. Tak said the policy makers must strive to create a barrier-free environment, and the people must lend their support for creating sustain able livelihoods for persons with disability rather than providing them with financial support. The CavinKare Ability Mastery Awards were presented to Nityananda Das from Bhubaneswar, Rajiv Rajan from Chennai and Sai Prasad Vishwanathan from Hyderabad. Das, a person with physical disability, became a professional dancer with only one leg and has also started a dance school, Kalashram, in his own city. Rajan, a person with cerebral palsy, works for the cause of the downtrodden through ‘Vidya Sagar’

a non-governmental organisation “It feels great! I dedicate this award to all those who have been supporting and encouraging me,” he said. The last winner of the mastery awards, Sai Prasad Viswanathan, overcame his physical shortcomings and pursues master’s in computer architecture and chip design at the University of Wisconsin, USA. “This award is dedicated to my parents, sister and relatives. There are thousands of such talents in the city who are waiting for the right opportunity to prove themselves”, he said. The award winners were judged by the jury consisting of former Chairperson, National Commission for Women V Mohini Giri, N Murali, managing director, The Hindu , actress Revathi, director Radha Mohan and music director A R Rahman. Of the 200 nominations from 21 states received for the award, 12 were shortlisted and seven finally won various awards. “All of us think we have a problem. We complain how we are fat or thin, or fair or dark. But there is a lesson for us all to learn from persons with disabilities.” This was A R Rahman, a member of the jury, addressing press persons after meeting the 12 persons with disabilities shortlisted for the CavinKare Ability award. At this function, the feast to the eyes was the fashion show with a difference, the previous year’s award winners walked the ramp along with the beautiful models. The guests on the dias were N Ram chief editor The Hindu, V Krishnamurthy, chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council and M S Sundara Rajan, Indian Bank chairman. R J Dhina, the Guinnes World Record holder, for hosting 168 hours on Radio compared the function along with Revathi Vijaya, with Latha translating in sign language. The main pillars behind this award function were C K Ranganathan, CavinKare, and Jayashree Raveendran, executive director of Ability Foundation. Guests and jury praised the noble

services of the CavinKare and Ability Foundation. One of the guests of the function, Sundararajan praised C K

Ranganathan and Jayashree for the grand success and appreciated that We the right people were selected.

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Here is shown the method to cook some finger-licking dishes.
Strawberry rosemary pulao

By Roma Ghosh

PALATABLE
STRAWBERRY ROSEMARY PULAO
INGREDIENTS: 2 cups of long grained rice 1 tbsp of ghee or butter 2 tsp of rosemary – fresh or powder 12-14 fresh strawberries salt to taste METHOD Soak the rice in water for one hour. Drain out all the excess water and keep aside. Chop 2-3 of the strawberries into small pieces and cut the remaining into halves. Heat the ghee or butter in a pan and fry the rice on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, mixing the oregano after frying it for 1 minute. Lower the heat and add 4 cups of water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and cook the rice on low heat till all the water is evaporated and the rice is cooked. Put off the heat and mix in the cut strawberry pieces.
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preparations
rice (salt and ghee added while cooking) 1/ cup of mixed vegetables 2 like beans, carrots and peas 2 tsp of oil 1/ tsp of jeera powder 4 1/ tsp of red chilli powder 4 For garnishing: chopped celery leaves

Stuffed brinjal with rice and celery

Remove to a serving plate and decorate with the half strawberries and serve.

STUFFED BRINJAL WITH RICE AND CELERY
INGREDIENTS: 1 large brinjal – baigan oil for deep frying the baigan salt to taste For the filling: 11/2 cups of cooked long-grained
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METHOD Wash the baigan and pat-dry completely. Cut into two halves vertically. Sprinkle salt over the two pieces and keep aside for 5 minutes. In the meantime heat enough oil for deep frying the brinjals. Once the oil is hot, fry one piece of brinjal at a time, turning very carefully. Fry both sides of the brinjal pieces till cooked from the inside. Fry both the pieces in this way and allow the fried brinjal to cool to room temperature. With the tip of a sharp knife remove the pulp from each of the brinjal pieces so as to have a depression for the filling. To prepare the filling: Heat the oil and saute the vegetables adding salt to taste. Lower the

April (Second) 2009

heat and cover with a lid for two minutes. Mix in the rice and the spices and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove and use this filling to fill the scooped out fried brinjal pieces. Now place the stuffed brinjal in a preheated oven only for 3-5 minutes so that the brinjal is just heated up. Garnish with celery leaves and serve. Alternately you could heat the brinjal in a nonstick pan covering with a lid on high heat only for 2 minutes.

1 tbsp of sugar syrup 2 tsp of coarsely ground red chilli flakes For serving: lettuce leaves For garnishing: walnut pieces - optional METHOD Mix all the ingredients for the salad in a small bowl and keep aside. Place the lettuce leaves on a serving plate or a salad bowl. Place the cooked rice, sprouts, spring onions, apple strips, cucumber and radish on the lettuce leave. Keep the salad ready and you could keep it in the fridge. Just before serving pour the dress over the salad and toss gently with wooden spoon and serve at once. You could top with a few walnut pieces if you so like.

Chicken biryani

tsp of lukewarm milk 3 tsp of lemon juice salt to taste For the marinade: 3 tbsp of dahi 3 tsp of ginger-garlic paste 2 tsp of garam masala 3 tsp of oil salt to taste METHOD Mix the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the chicken pieces with this and keep aside for at least 4 hours. After four hours add the fried onions and keep aside for another 1 hour. Soak the rice in water for 1 hour. Cook the rice in salted water till only half tender. Remove from fire and keep aside. To assemble the biryani: Take a pan with a lid which is big enough to fit the rice and the meat and enough space for the rice to swell. Place the marinated chicken at the bottom of the pan with all the marinate. Spread the half cooked rice over the chicken. Make insertions in the rice layers and pour the saffron mixture and the lemon juice so that these reach the bottom layer. Cover with a lid. Seal the rim of the lid with chapatti dough so that no steam can escape. Place the pan over low heat and cook for at least 20 minutes or until the rice is tender but not overcooked. Serve We piping hot.
Courtesy: India Gate Basmati Rice New Delhi. Ph: 011-26548400

RICE SALAD
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of long-grained rice (salt added while cooking) 1/ cup of mixed sprouts 2 1/ cup of spring onions – white 2 and green portion, cut into thin strips 1 apple cut into strips – without removing the peel 1 cucumber – cut into long strips – without removing the peel 1/ radish – scrapped and cut 2 into long strips For the dressing: 1 tbsp of vinegar 2 tsp of lemon juice 2 tbsp of olive oil

CHICKEN BIRYANI
INGREDIENTS: 1 kg chicken – cut into medium pieces 1 cup of fried onions 2 cups of rice 4-5 strands of saffron mixed in 4
Rice salad

SUMMER
Try these sugar-coated and lip-smacking desserts.
By Savita Bhargava

delicacies
continuously. Mix in the sugar. Mix in the cardamom and the mango pulp when cool. Serve cold garnished with almonds, pistachios and saffron.

MALAYALI YOGHURT
INGREDIENTS: 200 gm condensed milk 11/2 cup curd made from full cream milk 1/ cup cream 2 1/ tsp cinnamon powder 2 1/ tsp cardamom powder 2 2 tbsp roasted and crushed almonds and hazel nuts 2 tbsp raisins METHOD Tie the curd in a muslin cloth and hang it in a cool place to drain out the water. Add the condensed milk, cinnamon and cardamom powder and mix well. Also, add half of the nuts.

Cover the bowl with aluminium foil and steam for about 15-20 minutes. Cool. Serve garnished with remaining nuts and raisins chilled.

MANGO RABRI MARBLE INGREDIENTS: STRAWBERRY 500 ml full-cream milk cup sugar or to taste YOGHURT
1/ 1/ 2 4

tsp cutie acid

INGREDIENTS: 1 kg thick curd made from full-cream milk Mango rabri 4 tbsp castor sugar or to taste 6 tbsp mixed fruit or strawberry jam 1/ -1 tsp cardamom powder 2 cake sprinkles For garnishing: fresh strawberries METHOD Put the curd in a muslin cloth and hang it in a cool place for 6-8 hours to drain out the water. Mix in the castor sugar and cardamom powder. Chill and put a portion in small bowls. Fold in a tsp of the jam to give it a marbled effect. Garnish with cake sprinkles and serve.

cup mango pulp tsp cardamom powder few saffron threads 1 tsp finely cut almonds and pistachios
2 1/ 2

1/

METHOD Boil milk in a vessel and keep on simmer till half. Add the citric acid and stir
Malayali Yoghurt

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April (Second) 2009

Marble strawberry yoghurt

SATRANGI ICE CREAM
INGREDIENTS: 600 ml full-cream milk 51/2 tsp custard powder 12 tsp sugar 1 cup cream 1 alphanso or sarauli mango 1/ cup strawberry jelly 2 For garnishing: cake fruit METHOD In a cup of milk, mix the custard powder and the sugar. Boil the remaining milk and add the custard powder mixture to it, stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. Remove from fire and let
Satrangi ice cream

it cool. Mix the cream with the custard and divide into 3 parts. To one part add the mango pulp and heat in a mixer. Pour into an ice-cream tin and keep in the freezer to set. Beat the second part also in the mixer and pour over the set custard. To the third part heat in the jelly and pour over the second layer. Again keep it to set. Garnish with cake fruit and serve.

Arabian ice cream

chocolate sauce and serve garnished with the silver balls.

FROZEN YOGHURT
INGREDIENTS: 300 gm full-cream yoghurt 15-20 gm sugar (castor or powdered) chocolate sauce silver balls

ARABIAN ICE CREAM
INGREDIENTS: 500 ml full-cream milk 1/ cup chopped dates 4 sugar to taste For garnishing: silver balls For date pie: 125 gm dates (chopped) 1/ cup sugar 2 1 cup water 1/ tsp salt 2 1/ cup oil 4 3/ tsp cinnamon powder 4 a pinch of clone powder METHOD Mix the above ingredients in a sauce pan, boil-simmer for a few minutes and cool. Now mix in 1 cup maida and 1 tsp soda. Spread in an ungreased dish and bake till done. For the ice cream: In a pan boil the milk, add the dates and simmer till 1/3rd. Add the sugar and remove from the fire. Cool, pour in a rice tray and freeze. Serve with the date pie.
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Frozen yoghurt

For garnishing: 100 ml thick cream METHOD Whip the yoghurt with the sugar and fold in the cream. Put in the freezer to set. When half set whip again and then freeze again till it becomes solid. Drizzle liberally with
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Choco hazel delight

2-3 drops rose colour gulkand (candied pink rose petals) For garnishing: finely cut pistachios METHOD Boil milk in a vessel and keep on simmer till about 1/3. Remove from fire and mix in the khoya and condensed milk. Add sugar to taste and keep Nougat Surprise the mixture to cool. When cool mix in the colour and essence. Place a little gulkand in each of METHOD Heat the sugar in a pan with a the kulfi mould and pour the milk little water and caramelise. Add mixture on top. Keep to set in the freezer. Imerse in a pretty serving the crushed dry fruits and mix dish. Garnish with finely cut well. Spread on a greased tray. When cool, remove and crush. In pistachios and serve. a little milk, mix the custard powder and the sugar. Boil the remaining milk and add the custard powder mixture to it, stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. Remove from fire and let it cool. Mix in the INGREDIENTS: cream. 250 ml full-cream milk 1/ cup cream Add a little crushed nougat and 2 freeze. Serve garnished with 6 tsp sugar 4 tsp custard powder (preferably remaining crushed nougat and cake sprinkles. vanilla flavour)

CHOCO HAZEL DELIGHT
INGREDIENTS: 300 gm condensed milk 11/2 cup full-cream milk (cold) 11/2 cup cream 1 tsp vanilla essence 4 tbsp crushed hazel nuts 4 tbsp choco chips 4-6 chocolate bars (small) METHOD Combine condensed milk, milk and vanilla essence in a bowl. Whip the cream lightly and fold into the above mixture. Pour the mixture in a freezing tray and freeze till half set. Remove from the freezer and press in small chocolate bars into the half set ice cream. In between press in the crushed hazel nuts and chocolate chips. Freeze until firm. Cut into portions and serve.

NOUGAT SURPRISE

For nougat: 1/ cup roasted and crushed 2 almonds and hazel nuts 1 cup sugar For garnishing: cake fruit or cake sprinkles

ENGLISH PINEAPPLE PUDDING

GULABO KULFI
INGREDIENTS: 1 lt. full-cream milk 1/ cup grated or 2 mashed khoya 1/ cup condensed milk 2 sugar to taste 2-3 drops rose essence
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INGREDIENTS: 8 marie biscuits 1 tbsp unsalted butter 2 pineapple slices 50 gm orange jelly 1/ cup fresh cream 2 1/ cup powdered sugar 4 1 tbsp tang powder 2 oranges For garnishing: cake fruit and sprinkles
Gulabo kulfi

METHOD Chop the pineapple slices

April (Second) 2009

and let it cool to room temperature. In a food processor, combine the pineapple and banana until almost smooth. Add the lemon and orange juices and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar syrup. Freeze. Before serving let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften slightly.

English pineapple pudding

KHUS ICE-BERG LEMONADE
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup khus syrup 1 cup water lemon squash METHOD Mix the khus syrup and water and set in an ice-cream tray, so we get khus ice-cubes. Make lemonade with the lemon squash in
Khus ice-berg lemonade

finely. Heat water in a vessel and dissolve the orange jelly in it. Separate the orange segments. Beat the cream with the sugar until thick. Put the vessel containing the jelly mixture in a larger vessel filled with ice cubes and go on stirring. Add the cream and mix well. Also mix in the pineapple pieces, orange segments and tang powder. Crumble the marie biscuits, and mix with the unsalted butter. Spread the mixture in a serving dish and press firmly with your fingers. Spread a little cream sugar mixture on top. Keep the jelly mixture to set in a jelly mould in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. Just before serving, unmould the jelly mixture on the marie biscuit layer. Garnish with cake fruit and cake sprinkles. Serve chilled.

2 cups water 5 cups fresh pineapple pieces 2 cups banana chopped 1/ cup fresh lemon 4 juice 1/ cup fresh 4 orange juice METHOD In a saucepan stir together the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat
Pine apple banana smoothie

PINE APPLE BANANA SMOOTHIE
INGREDIENTS: 2 cups sugar
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400 ml cream 11/2 cup milk powder 1/ cup sugar 2 (powdered) 1/ cup orange squash 2 orange colour as required orange essence as required For garnishing: peeled orange segments METHOD Blend all the ingredients in a blender. Set the freezer control at the highest point some time in advance. Pour the mixture into ice trays and keep in the freezer. Remove when half set, and heat with a fork. Put to set again. Serve garnished with orange segments.
Carrot pumpkin sundae

ANGOORI SHARBAT
INGREDIENTS: 200 gm black grapes 100 ml orange juice 100 gm apple (finely chopped) salt to taste cumin powder to taste METHOD Roast 1-2 tbsp of cumin seeds. Cool and powder in a grinder. Blend the fruits in a liquidiser, with a little water. Strain through a sieve. Add the orange juice and water to get the desired consistency. Add the salt and cumin powder. Chill and serve.

Orange delight

individual glasses with chilled water. Add the khus ice cubes and serve. To make the glasses more appealing, dip the rim of the glasses first in water and then in castor sugar. Then use them to serve your cold drink.

CARROT PUMPKIN SUNDAE
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup full-cream milk 1 cup cream 1/ cup milk powder 2 1/ cup castor sugar 4 1/ tsp vanilla essence 2 1/ cup grated candied petha 2 (white pumpkin) 1 cup grated carrots sugar METHOD Blend all the ingredients except the grated vegetables and sugar, in a blender. Set the freezer control at the highest point some time in advance. Cook the grated carrots with the sugar and keep aside. You can spread the candid vegetables at the bottom of the ice cream tin or use it to garnish while serving. The ice cream can be set in a lage ice cream tin or small moulds. Freeze and serve as desired. We

ORANGE DELIGHT
INGREDIENTS: 400 ml milk (full cream)
Angoori sharbat

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QA
&

intercourse she is no longer a virgin as the male has to rupture her hymen to enter the vagina. As for your second question, it is highly unlikely that you will get pregnant during your periods. This is because only one egg is released during a menstrual cycle and that is mid-cycle, around the fourteenth day.

minimised. Quite often, the amniocentesis result is normal and we can then overlook the triple test report. On the other hand if it confirms the triple test finding, you may be offered the option of aborting a child with congenital defects.

Q & A
I am a 25-year-old married woman living in Dubai with my husband. This is my first pregnancy and I am in the seventh month. My worry is that we are still having sexual intercourse as my husband wants it everyday but he restricts himself to positions recommended by the gynaecologist. He is crazy for sex. My breasts have grown very big and he wants to suck them all the time. Will daily sex and sucking of breast cause problems? There is no harm in having a regular sex life if a healthy woman is carrying a healthy pregnancy, especially in positions advised by the gynaecologist. However, I would advise moderation in everything during pregnancy, especially on issues pertaining to sex. Also, woman with a history of obstetric complications are advised to restrain from sex during pregnancy. Sucking of breasts or any other form of nipple stimulation, like manual manipulation, can lead to preterm labour, especially in women who have a tendency to do so. I am a 21-year-old virgin. My periods last for seven days and come every month. This time I had sex with my fiancé on the fourth day of my period and he released his sperm in my vagina. Now two things are worrying me. Firstly, am I a virgin or not? Secondly, is there any chance of my getting pregnant during my menstrual cycle? Once a woman has vaginal

I am a 34-year-old woman pregnant for the first time. Around the fourth month the doctor got a triple test done which was positive for Down’s Syndrome. She now wants me to get an amniocentesis done which involves poking a needle in my tummy! Please explain what this is all about as I am frightened out of my wits. Down’s Syndrome is a congenital form of mental retardation that usually afflicts babies of older women though, younger women are not immune. The triple test is a broad screening method that gives but a warning regarding the presence or absence of the above diseases. To make a confirmatory diagnosis an invasive test called amniocentesis is required. This involves inserting a needle in the uterus to withdraw a certain amount of amniotic fluid which is then tested to reach a definitive diagnosis. It is not as scary as you think, for the local anaesthesia does not allow you to feel any sort of pain and as it is done under ultrasound guidance the chances of injury to the baby are

I am 26 years old and have a male child aged five. I became pregnant again in mid-2008 but as the baby was abnormal it was aborted in August 2008. Now I am planning for another child and would like to know, how soon after sex can pregnancy be confirmed. Can it be done with the pregnancy kit available in the market? I do not want to wait for a month to learn of this for I want to be very careful this time. As there is a lot of work to be done at home and all the chores have to be performed by me, I can begin taking rest earlier if the pregnancy is confirmed earlier. You cannot learn whether you have conceived or not soon after sex but you can learn whether you are pregnant or not even before you miss your periods by a blood test that a gynaecologist has to prescribe. This will serve no useful purpose in your case, for you do not suffer from repeated abortions. You had an induced abortion to get rid of an abnormal pregnancy. For this you need proper surveillance during early pregnancy to confirm whether this pregnancy is normal or not.

I am five months pregnant with my first child. Please tell me what is the best position to sleep in. Try not to sleep on your back from the beginning of the fifth month onwards. This is because the growing uterus presses upon the big blood vessels that lie immediately behind it, leading to breathlessness and fainting attacks at times. It also inhibits digestion. Sleeping on the side, especially the left side increases the flow to the placenta thereby increasing the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the baby optimising its growth. It also enhances the flow of blood to the kidneys which leads to better elimination of waste products. – Dr A. K. Bajaj, MD.

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East Meets West
These eye-catching ensemble of conventional and modern apparels are designed to enhance your beauty to classic levels, not letting your companion to take his eyes off you.

Unique eastern style: The enticing ghaghra and kameez has an attractive dupatta to complement your charm.

Touch of the West: This charming belle looks ravishingly beautiful in this frock.

Arresting gait: In this modern outfit the lady appears to send an invitation to enchantment.

What more to desire: This classic occidental dress is meant to draw your loved one closer.

Encircling attire: Isn't the girl ready to take off in this tempting apparel?

A class of their own: The lady gets a serene and sedate appearance in this out-of-the ordinary dress.

Matchless charm: Doesn't she simply present an incredible look in this colourful attire?

Bold is beautiful: This western outfit gives you the confidence to face any modern gathering.

Ultra-modern: This non-traditional dress makes the lady irresistibly attractive. The hairdo tells a new tale.

Unconventional look: The trouser alongwith the wide-cut top makes the girl an object of attention.

Graceful: The lady in this modern dress appears all set to go for the kill.

A dreamy attire: The trouser matched with the revealing top alongwith the handbag marks her out as someone special.

The Paying Guest
The poor young girl’s innocence became her undoing.
By Dr Gayathri N. M.

F

“Did you not attend school at all?” ourteen-year-old Mutthu was glad to see that “I did, up to the 5th standard.” the “To Let” board no longer adorned the wall “Then?” in her master’s house. It meant that a new “My father said there was no money to send me paying guest had arrived. Her master had to school. He put me here with my grandma and got furnished a room in the first floor of his house me the job in the master’s house.” with all facilities with the idea to rent it out. He For the first time a paying guest had enquired and his family lived in the ground floor. Since about Mutthu. After that, a few words with him medical and engineering colleges were nearby, he whenever she came to work filled her with earned a good income from the room. happiness. Mutthu, a slum dweller, worked as a maid in the One day, she wanted to know his name. “Master, master’s house. Her responsibility was to keep the what is your name?” house spotless by sweeping and dusting it. If the “Mutthu, call me as you are doing now room was occupied, the duty of cleaning – master.” that room too fell on Mutthu. While, the Mutthu had “How can I? I address the owner of this wages Mutthu earned went directly to her been working in house also ‘master’.” father, the paying guests usually tipped her her master’s “Okay, he is your big master. I am your generously at the end of the month. It was house for four little master.” this that made Mutthu happy. years. She rarely Thus, he became ‘little master’ to Mutthu had been working in her spoke to others Mutthu. master’s house for four years. She rarely and earnestly One day she asked, “Little master, what spoke to others and earnestly did the work did the work she are you studying?” she was assigned. Even the paying guests was assigned. “Me? I am studying to be a doctor.” who occupied the room seldom spoke to Even the paying That day, he told her. “Mutthu, remove her. guests who these dirty clothes and wear fresh ones. However, this time, a young and occupied the Don’t you have other clothes?” handsome fellow had taken the room. The room seldom “No, little master, I don’t have any at very next day, he smiled at Mutthu. When spoke to her. all. Once a year, my mother gets me old she was coming out of his room after her clothes of others. Other than that where work, he asked her name. After a week, can I get clothes?” he enquired, “Where is your house?” “What about your wages?” “Can you see the line of houses over there? The “Every month my father comes and collects it from house in the middle is ours.” the master.” “How many of you stay in your house.” “Don’t you ask your father for new dresses?” “Only my grandmother and myself.” “Oh, no. He will kick me if I do that. Every single “Oh, your parents?” paisa of my wages goes to his drinks.” “They work in a big bazaar far away. They are “Will you buy new clothes if I give you the labourers. They come home once a week.” money?” “Are you not scared?” “If you give... I will.” “No, we have houses in the neighbourhood. That day, he gave her a 100-rupee note. Mutthu There are people.”
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was delighted. She carefully folded it, kept it inside her blouse and took it home. As usual, Mutthu came to work. She was running a high temperature. She was trembling. Her eyes were red and her face swollen. When she got ready to leave, he asked, “Mutthu, why are you pale? Are you not doing well?” “No, little master. I have fever, My head is aching.” “Have you not taken any medicine?” “No.” “Come here.” He put his hand on Mutthu’s forehead and felt it. It was hot. “Why didn’t you tell me about it? Come, I’ll give you medicine.” He pulled a rack and took out a few tablets. “Take two tablets three times a day. Just wait and see. Your fever will vanish by tomorrow.” The touch of the soft hands of the little master on

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her forehead brought enormous relief to Mutthu. She had never been to a doctor before in her life. When she was going out, he called her again. “You don’t take a bath every day, do you? Here, take this soap. If you don’t bathe you will stink. Then you will develop skin diseases. How can you come to work then? Tomorrow have your bath before you come here.” The next day, Mutthu was at her workplace. Her fever had come down. He called her to check her. He felt her forehead and neck. When he was about to remove his hands, Mutthu put hers on his. The touch felt heavenly to her. She was convinced that the reason for her recovery was his touch rather than his tablets. Giving some more tablets to her, he said, “Okay, take two of these in the afternoon and at night. That should be enough. Mutthu, you need not sweep the room today. Tomorrow you can do that. Go home and take rest.” Her admiration for him increased on hearing his sympathetic words. A small question arose in Mutthu’s mind as her intimacy with her little master grew. Her aged grandmother had developed an eye problem. Whenever she had to go out during the night, she needed Mutthu’s help. Mutthu had to go with her and forgo her sweet sleep.

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work of her little master more and more. She was Mutthu decided to seek her little master’s help. interested in the fresh 100-rupee notes “Little maser, may I ask you something?” he often gave her. One day, he bought a new skirt “Of course you may.” and a blouse for her.When she came, he showed “You are learning to become a doctor, aren’t her the dress and said, “See what I have brought for you?” you? “Mutthu joyfully held the shining dress in her “Yes.” hand. “My granny cannot see properly. Can you give “Put on the dress.” Mutthu felt bashful. her some medicine for that? I’ll bring her here “Don’t feel shy. Go into that room and change. tomorrow.” Let’s see how you look.” Her question put him in a fix. While Mutthu was changing her dress, he He had lied to Mutthu. He was in fact studying for suddenly entered the room and hugged her from his diploma in engineering. Mutthu in her innocence behind. Mutthu felt many things happen within trusted him implicitly, especially after her bout of minutes. Slightly perspiring, she grabbed her dress, fever which he had cured. put it on hastily and wiped her face. “Why not?” he replied after a while. “Wait for a “I’m sorry, really sorry” he consoled caressing her few days. I’ll come to your house. Your granny need all over. “Take this ...he gave her two more 100not walk so far. I am a bit busy now with my exams. rupee notes. Afterwards, I’ll treat her.” His assurance satisfied Mutthu. * * * One day, she came to his room He called her Mutthu began to suspect the change in wearing a new dress bought with the to check her. her body after a few months. She felt she money he had given. He felt her was growing plump because her dress had “Little master, look at my dress. I bought become tight. She told her little master forehead and it with the money you gave. Is it nice?” “Of course. But you need one more neck. When he about it. He examined her and said, “You have become more beautiful, that’s all. It change. Do you brush your teeth?” was about to happens when you are contented.” Are “No.” remove his you not happy now?” “Look, if you brush your teeth, apply hands, “I am.” powder and wear a bindi on your Mutthu put “Hasn’t your financial worry lessened?” forehead... you will look just like hers on his. “Yes.” Aishwarya Rai. Do you know her?” The touch “That’s why this change.” She had known about her through the felt heavenly “Then... this stomach?” poster. “Will I look like her?” to her. “It’s because of something like “Of course. Here, take this money. acidity. I shall get you some tablets Dress up neatly tomorrow and come.” tomorrow.” Next day when she arrived, even he was Next day he gave her one tablet and said, “You dressed neatly. He had shaved his beard. He took might feel a little tired. Take two or three days’ rest. the well-dressed Mutthu to the mirror and said, You can come to work after that.” “Look.” Mutthu did not have such a big mirror at home. * * * Looking at herself in the mirror, she felt that whatever Little master’s tablet wreaked havoc in Mutthu. he had said was true. Just as he had said, pain besieged her the whole “Didn’t I tell you?” he said. He turned her face towards him and kissed her. Though startled, Mutthu night. At last, just as she felt her whole energy draining away completely, she felt wetness in her did not want to free herself. His moustache tickled inner clothes. Feeling terribly frightened, she her. “Mutthu, do you know the meaning of your removed her bloodstained clothes and washed them name? This is it.” He held her tightly and kissed before sunrise. She could not get up from her bed again. Mutthu was slightly frightened. When they for the next few days. She lied to her grandmother came out of the room, he said, “Don’t tell anyone and pulled on for three days. about this. You will come tomorrow, won’t you?” She felt slightly better on the fourth day. She He thrust two 100-rupee notes into her palms. remembered her work, her little master and the fact Mutthu went out nodding her head with a smile on that she should tell him about her ordeal. When she her face. came to her master’s house, she was stunned by what she saw. “To Let.” The board was back on the * * * wall once again. As the days went by, Mutthu began to relish the We
64 Woman’s Era

April (Second) 2009

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A good friend of mine has been borrowing money from me for over two years. This is because I got a good job right after we both left college, while he remained unemployed till recently. However, he managed to get a job in a good company three months ago. In these three months he has not once mentioned the money that he owes me, though whenever he borrowed from me, he always said that he’d return it as soon as he could. I am embarrassed to bring the matter up, but I’d like my money back. What should I do? How good a friend is this man and how important is his friendship to you? Also, how large is the

amount he has borrowed and do you need the money badly? If his friendship means a lot to you and you can afford it, you could think of writing off the debt or at least waiting a bit longer to see if he brings up the question of repayment on his own. After all, he may have other debts to repay after being unemployed for so long and may have thought that he could repay you later because you are such a good friend. But if you bring up the matter, be matter of fact and hide any embarrassment you may feel. After all, he will be even more embarrassed than you! Also be accommodating and say that he can repay the money in instalments. I expected that man to ask me to marry him before I left, but to my shock, he just told me that I should come again and saw me off. How can I make that man realise that he should marry me? Why would that man want to marry you? Except for children, you give him all that he could want – unlimited sex and affection – besides being ready to run when he calls! Besides, it does not appear that he respects you. You should get married because marriage will give you sex as well as companionship in a socially acceptable way. But do not expect your first lover to marry you.

I am a 23-year-old woman software engineer in a good job with a multinational. A male college mate and good friend of mine also works in the same company. When we were in college together, we foolishly experimented with drugs, but while I soon realised how foolish I was being and gave it up, my friend did not. He is now fully addicted, though he manages to continue with his work. Recently I spoke seriously to him about his addiction and advised him to undergo de-addiction treatment. To my shock he told me that I was the cause of his problem. He said that he had been in love with me ever since we had met in college and that he had taken to drugs because he had realised that I did not love him. I am very fond of this friend. Should I say that I love him just to get him to quit drugs? You can tell your friend that you love him, but how far are you ready to take the matter? Are you ready to marry him and spend your life with him? And anyway, will you be able to convince him of your love? Addicts often give excuses for their addiction – excuses that aren’t really true. Your friend has given the excuse that disappointment in love made him an addict, but the fact remains that he never told you that he loved you or tried to win your love when you

were in college. So his excuse isn’t really believable. Unless he is cured of his addiction, your friend will find another excuse to go back to drugs even if you accept his love. You will do him a lot more good if you tell him that you’ll always be his friend and you then see that he goes in for deaddiction treatment and rehabilitation. If he does not agree to undergo this treatment, you should tell his family about his problem.

I am a 22-year-old working woman and my problem is that I need sex on a regular basis. I began masturbating when I attained puberty, but dis covered the pleasures of sex with a partner when I joined college. In the last four years I have had sex with three partners. Of them, the first and I fell in love and then had sex. After that man finished his course and left college, I was heartbroken because he had not asked me to marry him. I then had sex on a strictly mutual necessity basis with two other men. Last month my first lover phoned me and asked me to come and spend the weekend with him. He is now working in another city, but I rushed there and we had a memorable weekend together, getting out of bed only when absolutely unavoidable. Woman’s Era

I am a 28-year-old married woman with a two-year-old son. I have an excellent job and recently got a promotion and a big raise in salary. My company has also given me good accommodation and a car. My inlaws and widowed sister-in-law stay with us. I have very good relations with them and they willingly help me a lot in running the house and caring for my son. But my husband is always nagging me to give up my job and be a full-time homemaker. He says that his parents need to be looked after. I find this very strange because we cannot hope to manage on his salary alone. Besides, my in-laws are not very old and are in excellent 65

April (Second) 2009

health. I earn more than double what my husband earns and, if anyone quits working to stay at home, it should be him. He was furious when I said this, but I really can’t even think of resigning from my job. How can I make my husband understand all this? Not many Indian men would be happy being house-husbands! They think that this is against their masculinity and that people will laugh at them. So don’t tell your husband that he should be the one to stop working or dream of coming back to a spic and span house with him greeting you at the door with a smile and a cup of hot coffee. Your husband seems to be suffering from an inferiority complex because you are doing so much better than him. Men always think of themselves as responsible for bringing home the bacon and when your husband sees that he cannot, he must feel very inadequate. So be very affectionate in dealing with him. Tell him how much you need him and how you cannot manage without him. Avoid talking about your work or telling him about your successes. Be calm when he again tells you about quitting your job and explain to him that today most families need two incomes. Praise the help your in-laws are giving you and tell him that you need to consider giving up your job only when they grow really old and helpless and your sister-in-law cannot manage things on her own.

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difficult to remain apart. Since we are both living abroad in Canada where we have no relatives, we are wondering why we should not live together as man and wife till we go back to India and get married. Our colleagues and friends here are surprised that we do not live together when we are planning to marry. They say that we are foolishly wasting the best days of our lives. Should we move in together? Live-in relationships are common in the Western world and young people are entering into them in India too. But what does a relationship of this sort mean? All it really means that you have all the pleasures of marriage without commitment. It means that you or your partner can opt out of the relationship without a moment’s hesitation, even if the other doesn’t want this. Of course, you and your boyfriend are planning to get married, but again, if you live together one of both of you might not want to get married later. After all, why should one undertake responsibilities when one can have all the fun without any commitment? So be ready for one or both of you not thinking it necessary to get married even after four years. And what if you should get pregnant in the meantime? After all, no method of contraception is 100% foolproof. Think all this over and then decide what to do.

My fiance is 31 and I am 29. Both of us have financial responsibilities towards our parents and we can’t afford to get married for at least four years more. But we are finding it very

I am 37 years old and have been married seven years. My husband is 39. For the first five years of marriage we were too busy having fun to want to start a family. We both had good jobs and were earning a lot of money. Two years ago we decided to have a baby and four months ago, I

became pregnant. My pregnancy is going fine, but my husband and both our families, are talking and acting as if it would be a great calamity if I didn’t have a son. They are insisting that I must have a scan to find out the sex of the baby. I don’t know if they will suggest that I abort the child if it is a girl, but I am sure that they will be disappointed and that they will not love the baby. I am stressed out which I am sure is not good for the baby. What should I do? What can you do now? You are pregnant and are going to have a baby and whether it is a boy or girl isn’t in your hands! Just tell yourself this repeatedly and relax, As you yourself know, being worried and stressed out isn’t good for the child. Using a scan to find out the sex of a foetus is illegal in India. Remind your family of this. Today, many people want to have daughters because they think that girls are easier to bring up and that they grow up to be more responsible and caring towards parents and siblings. But the desire to have a son to carry on the family name is also found not just in our culture but in many across the globe. To that extent the desire of your husband and both your family and his, is understandable. So be patient with their eagerness, even if you don’t share it. As for your worry that they will not love the baby if it turns out to be a girl, just put it out of your mind. Once the baby arrives, they will forget all their earlier obsessions and adore the little one. She will become the centre of the world for your husband and everyone else. So just forget all your worries and enjoy your pregnancy.

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66 Woman’s Era

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Q & A
I have been married for six years and have two kids (four and two). My husband has begun to complain that I am not as attractive as I was when we first met. He too has put on weight and lost hair, but I don’t say anything. Why is he being so demanding? It is a fact that most women, and some men, tend to neglect their bodies after marriage. Women have the added disadvantage that after bearing a child they lose youthful muscle control. However, you can remedy it all. Your husband is definitely trying to be honest, so might as well attempt to achieve what he hopes. When he sees you making an effort maybe he will begin to pay attention to his own health. If not, you can coax him to join you after you have sensed the feeling of success. I have always dwelt in the past and never enjoyed my current state of life. I went to a spiritual session and was taught meditation techniques. Now I feel that while I am fine with what is over, I have become very emotional in my present life. How do I handle this? It is not always easy to acknowledge or face your fears, so you must acknowledge the wonderful achievement you have managed. Being emotional is not bad per se,

but it should not begin to hinder your normal life. If you are doing meditation regularly learn to focus your thoughts and emotions by breath control. Give it some time as well and when you feel you must shed a tear or two, do it privately and you might feel better for it.

deciding about the importance of marriage to you. It is very easy to break up but if every small excuse is used for divorce, soon there will be no married couples in the world. You have to sternly tell your friends that this taunting is not acceptable to you and they have no right to belittle your decision about your marriage. If they still persist, be prepared to distance yourself for a while, they will see your point of view in time to come.

My husband cheated and confessed after the girl was out of his life. I never had any inkling and felt more stupid than betrayed. However, I decided my marriage was important to be given a second chance and now my friends taunt me about it. I don’t like it, what do I do? You have behaved sensibly in

I am a single parent and wanted to be liberal and friendly with my daughters. While my eldest daughter was very balanced my second daughter who is now 15 has boyfriend and she is getting distracted from her studies. How do I handle her as I don’t want to curb her growth? Puberty or transition from childhood to adulthood can be traumatic for growing kids. Every child is special and different. Girls who date before they are psychologically and socially ready for this change are often obsessive about the boys because they are unsure of themselves. You have to be a different and more stern mother with your younger daughter. Woman’s Era

I got married two years ago and my husband’s younger brother was very fond of me. He recently confided in me that he has just begun to try some drugs and is taking prescription drugs as well because in his office all youngsters enjoy that. What should I do? While I do not want to betray him, I don’t want him to ruin his life. You are absolutely right. You have a responsibility and even if he feels betrayed right now he will thank you in times to come. Sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind and take risks with loved ones in their interest. You need to talk to the young man in detail and tell him that while you appreciate his confiding in you but you want him to take things in control and stop it, even if it means ostracisation by his colleagues. If he does not pay heed you will have to seriously consider speaking to your husband about it.

MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS AND ME...
This new column will tackle queries related to family, social environment and personality development. Please address your queries to:

WOMAN'S ERA,
E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055. or log on to Womansera.com

April (Second) 2009

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SLAVE TO
ARE YOU A

DUST

If you resent spending too much time on tedious and repetitive house cleaning, follow these tips for reclaiming your life.
By Shailja Mehta

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ou went to the mall last Saturday instead of cleaning the toilets. You bought shoes instead of getting the mixer-grinder fixed. Sounds familiar? Let’s face it, ladies. It happens to the best of us. The chores pile up and the mess gets out of control. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend most of the weekend relaxing rather than mopping the floor? It’s okay! I’m here to tell you that there is hope. Housework doesn’t have to take over your life. In fact, you can learn to cut your housework in half. Follow these simple steps and liberate yourself from these bonds forever!

Reality check Take a hard look at the weekly tasks you do around the house. Are they all really necessary? If you work long hours during the week, and your weekend entertaining is more or less restricted to the living room or kitchen, why not consider letting the

WHO SAYS THE HOUSEWORK HAS TO BE ALL YOUR PROBLEM ANYWAY? IF YOU’VE REDUCED YOUR CLEANING TASKS TO THE BARE MINIMUM AND YOU’RE STILL FEELING FRAZZLED AND RESENTFUL, IT’S TIME TO CALL IN SOME HELP.
rest of the house slide for a week or two? After all, you’re not at home during the day, and your friends are hardly about to embark on a thorough, top-to-bottom inspection of your apartment. You may be pushing yourself to clean every corner and crevice, when nobody really notices if the floor in the house gets mopped every second – or even third – day, rather than on the stroke of 10 am every day. getting down on the floor to inspect the tiles for traces of dirt. Once you have a clear picture of what your Saturday or Sunday afternoon could be like, it will be very, very hard to justify getting out that vacuum cleaner or rolling up your sleeves to clean out the fridge. Remind yourself of your priorities – when it comes right down to it, would you rather catch up with an old friend you haven’t seen in months, or have a scrubbed and sparkling toilet? moment. How much can it really cost to get someone? Give this plan a chance, and you’ll notice there are plenty of positives to be found. You’ve just created a job for someone who needs the work. So, solve the cleaning problem, and get ready to deal with having whole chunks of time to devote to the important things in your life. Now, what are you going to do first?

How else could you be spending your time? Take a minute to imagine in detail what your fantasy weekend would look like. How would you spend it? Sleeping in, doing some leisurely shopping on Saturday afternoon, may be catching a movie or having friends around for an afternoon tea and ordering in some Chinese fast food for the evening? In this kind of relaxed atmosphere, no one will be thinking of running their finger along the mantelpiece checking for dust, or

Can you enlist any help? Who says the housework has to be all your problem anyway? If you’ve reduced your cleaning tasks to the bare minimum and you’re still feeling frazzled and resentful, it’s time to call in some help. If you share your place with anyone, there’s simply no reason that you should be doing all the menial tasks. Call a family meeting, and delegate some of the household jobs. Even if you find it hard to give up control of this area, just try it for two weeks. Sure, there may be a few dust balls remaining under the table, and the kitchen sink may not be shining brightly enough to see your reflection in it, but these are minor issues if they end up giving you two or three hours of your weekend back. If you can’t share the workload, there’s one more option available: pay someone else to help with housework. Before you dismiss the idea as too expensive, think for a
Woman’s Era

Organise your house-cleaning As you start developing simple house-cleaning habits, you’ll notice that your work will get easier and easier. This set of tips will give you some great ideas of good habits to start. Rinse your plate This may be a small tip, but it can help in big ways. If you simply make it a habit to rinse your plate after dinner and have all family members do the same, it will make washing them a lot easier. No one likes trying to wash dried food off the dishes.Tackle the small jobs. Housework can be overwhelming. Learn to break it down and tackle the smaller jobs first. As you do, each job will become easier. Also, if you clean the small messes before they get big, it’ll be a lot easier to clean up. If you make it a habit to do a quick pick up before going to bed, it’ll really help. You’ll find that it’s easier to wake up and feel good about the day We if even one room is clean.
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CONFESSIONS OF A
Welcome to the world of a compulsive reader!
By Romola Shanbhag

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READOMANIAC

hat do you do inside your house the whole day long? Don’t you feel bored? You must go out more often, you know, and meet people,” neighbours say, looking at me in a curious but kindly fashion. I smile in reply without offering an explanation. It is a rhetorical question, of course, which does not call for a reply. They only want me to know that I am an old misogynist. Anyway, what do I tell them? That I spend my time reading? That I am a kind of “readoholic?” I may have invented a word but it does describe me completely. Me and so many others like me, I suppose, are irrevocably addicted to the written word. If there’s something to read, I read it. I feel a sort of deep sense of duty to

do this. If someone has taken the pains to write and print something, surely we are obligated to award it a little bit of our eyeball time? And this, in a nutshell, is what keeps me housebound most of the time! Consider this. We get three newspapers delivered on our doorstep every day. While hubby simply glances at the headlines and tosses the papers away, I feel I must read these from front page to last, especially since we pay a fat bill for these at the end of each month. And, since one does not read old, yesterday’s newspapers, I sit surrounded by the sheets for hours on end every morning, speed-reading like a maniac.

COMPULSIVE READERS
And then, there are the magazines we get from the local vending library. The rule is that you cannot get one unless you return the one you have. So there I go, furiously reading some periodical or other in the afternoon – so that we manage to get the 30 magazines we are entitled to get each month for the fee we pay. And then, what about the British Council Library and Sahitya Akademi books on my bedside table? These can be read a little more leisurely, no doubt, but as it just won’t do to return them after the due dates, every night, my table lamp burns bravely late into the night as I tackle the stack… So, tell me, where do I find the time to hobnob with the neighbours, sip tea sitting in the warm winter sun or snatch a siesta in the afternoons? I hardly get time to cook and fold clothes, leave alone idly chit-chat, I tell you. Even when I watch my favourite sitcoms and news channels on TV, there is always a book or newspaper on my lap which I read during the commercial breaks. In our home, you can be sure you will always find some reading material at arm’s length from you. There are books, magazines and newspapers lying on sofas and under chairs, on bed rests and under occasional tables, apart from those spilling out of groaning shelves in almost every room.

Married children in in her mouth. A book is If there’s different parts of the globe always propped up beside something to her plate at mealtimes – exhort us to never dispose read, I read it. even when there are of their childhood I feel a sort of guests at the table! (“books”). We always want deep sense of to keep them, mom. Sheer One day, I was nostalgia! Promise...we’ll duty to do this. surprised to see her take them off your hands If someone has having breakfast without one of these days, but till the customary book or taken the then, hang on to them, will pains to write paper before her face — you? (So the dog-eared but her eyes were avidly and print Enid Blytons, Nancy Drews reading the print of a large something, and the Commando cereal carton! According surely we are to this worthy, to eat, just comics stay…and so do obligated to hubby’s dusty technical eat – to concentrate on award it a little the food one is shovelling tomes, long outdated, of course, but still denied a into the mouth – is bit of our decent retirement to the eyeball time? indecent and gross! Well, kabadi man.) as they say, it takes all But then I cannot blame them? kinds to make the world! For, don’t I still have my cherished favourites…the thick-paged Angela Brazil schoolgirl books, the Sherlock Holmes, the Scarlet Pimpernel A reading maniac uncle could not series …all so dear to my heart – go to the loo without a newspaper or companions in solitude, solace- book to read. All indignant givers, entertainers par excellence! protestations from his family fell on “I wish there were 36 hours in a deaf ears…till he was assigned a day,” I often complain to my spouse.” separate newspaper to take How else can I get to finish all that I wherever he wished! When he have to read?” married, his indulgent bride installed His usual reply to my usual query a dinky book shelf in the bathroom is: “Selective reading, my dear, is the where he kept his loo reading key. You don’t have to read material, which did not travel outside everything , you know. Choose these precincts, of course, and no …choose and read.” one touched! To this, I respond cannily: “When As for me, my mother claims that you take us out for a buffet lunch in a my reading habit has very early 5-star hotel, don’t you urge us to try origins. It seems I loudly spelt out the out all the dishes? To eat as much words painted on shop boards, home as we can?” nameplates and street signs when I “That’s different,” he retorts huffily. was barely out of the cradle. “I should We pay a hefty price for each have known then itself,” she says person’s meal. We have to get our now, “that your nose would not be out money’s worth.” of a book for the rest of your life!” “That’s just what I am doing too,” I What, one may wonder, do I do if state smugly. “I rest my case, Your I run out of anything to read. This Honour.” His answer is simply a grunt rarely happens, so the question of of disgust. my suffering cold turkey does not I know, of course, that my reading arise. And then again, I am blessed obsession is a little over the top, and with a memory like a sieve. I tend to I must do something about it but this forget the plots of stories so rapidly trait runs in the family, and I must that it is possible for me to re-read have inherited it in my genes. There these again and again with are quite a few readomaniacs on our undiminished pleasure. I forget, after family tree. a while, who married whom at the A cousin of mine cannot eat a end of some story, and who mouthful without a printed word for murdered the woman in the library her to follow as she puts a mouthful in a whodunit… We

A READING MANIAC

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HOW DID

NAXALISM
Well-considered developmental initiatives and rejuvenated social reforms can confront extremism successfully.
By Dr Satish Kumar and Vivek Raj
hulan Devi of Pandura village under Sandesh Block was the first woman Naxalite leader. She canvassed for a Naxalite candidate for the 2000 panchayat elections. Her contribution was the most crucial in electing a Maoist mukhiya for the Pandura Panchayat. But very soon the same firebrand old lady turned against the Maoist forces. Jhulan Devi said, “All Maoist leaders are political thugs. They are worse than any upper-caste feudals. They use violence and murder for not bringing social justice for their own vested interests.” Like Jhulan Devi, there are scores of male and female activists who used to be sympathisers and promoters of naxalites but turned against them. This turn has brought Woman’s Era

COME TO AN END IN A BLOCK OF BIHAR

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fundamental changes in the block. On the one hand, there is an expansion of Naxal outfits in many districts of Bihar. Nineteen out of 38 districts are Naxal-infested. The succeeding years, have not only witnessed a consolidation of extremists in their strongholds, but a further expansion into newer areas. Apart from traditional strongholds in Patna, Gaya, Aurangabad, Arwal, Bhabhua, Rohtas and Jehanabad in the south-western parts of the State, there has been a spurt in extremism in parts of North Bihar, bordering Nepal including the West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga and Madhubani districts. The Naxalites have also extended their areas of influence into Shaharsha, Begusarai and Vaishali, and areas along the border with Uttar

April (Second) 2009

Pradesh. On the other hand, there is a gradual erosion of Naxal dominance from certain pockets of Bihar. Sandesh block is one of the blocks of Bihar that has seen the gradual elimination of Naxalites. Sandesh comes under the Bhojpur district. There are 11 panchayats under the Sandesh block. It is very informative and interesting to have the grassroots’ view of the end of Naxal dominance in certain panchayats of Sandesh block. It is a well-known fact that Naxalism in Bihar had started from two blocks: Sandesh and the adjoining Shahar. The most important factor, which proved to be instrumental in dismantling the Naxal dominance was the panchayat election which was initiated in Bihar after 23 years, held in 2000. Six panchayats had Maoist mukhiyas under the 2000 panchayat election in the Sandesh block. The second panchayat election in Bihar was held in 2006. It is very interesting to note that all six Maoists mukhiyas were defeated in the 2006 elections. It was the first important signal of the unpopularity of the Maoists in the villages. It also created a significant distance between the Maoist leaders and the community. Maoists were exposed to the poor people from whom they remained cut off during their tenure as mukhiya. All malpractices were being followed by them. They

minted money and used the power for their own vested interests. That revealed the real face of Maoist leaders. Their calibrated plan of hate against the upper castes got exposed to the lower castes. Exposition of Naxal tactics brought a social cohesiveness among the different castes. They came together to elect a leader who could work for the development of the villages.

THE MANDAL REVOLUTION
Nevertheless, the Mandal revolution in Bihar has resurrected the image of backward castes, especially the Yadavs in Bihar. The Yadav is numerically the biggest chunk in Bihar. The 15 years of Lalu Raj has raised the economic and political status of Yadavs. They became economically rich and politically powerful. With this change, the Yadavs gradually withdrew themselves from Maoist outfits. That is a major blow to the extreme leftists. The sense of peace and development became the predominant factor for the Scheduled and Backward Castes.

The new government of Bihar after 15 years of Lalu raj , has done some meaningful work which addressed the key issues of the poor people. It reposed faith in the governance. The law and order of the state improved to a great extent. State Auxiliary Police, a brainchild of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, came into existence with around Woman’s Era

2,000 fully-trained ex-army men to step up police operations against organised crime and Naxalites. Now the strength of SAP has gone up to more than 5, 000. The process of social cohesion against the Maoists started in many panchayats of the Sandesh block. The spectre of naxal violence has taught a lesson to the upper-caste people. They started respecting the lower castes and accommodating them in any decision-making process for the development of the villages. This new outlook of the social order pressurised the sympathisers or supporters of Naxalites to mend their ways or leave the villages. Social pressure changed many naxalites to switch over to farming and shed all their associations with the Naxal outfits. The process of social change has reduced the number of Naxalites from many villages under the Sandesh block dramatically. The hard-core Naxal leaders left the villages. Gradually the Sandesh block which has 11 panchayats, was cleansed of Naxal violence. Now the doors in the villages are not shut with the sunset. People even move about in the night. There are many other initiatives that have been started by the State Government to curb the naxal violence. The Jehanabad district has remained in the news for Naxal violence for more than two decades. But the recent initiative of the state government under the Aasdwar project in Jehanabad has eroded the Naxal base to a large extent. The scheme is currently under way in five Naxalite-affected panchayats of the district – Sikariya, Sewana, Mandebigha, Surungpur- Bhawanichak and Jamuk – all in the Jehanabad Sadar block. All villages under these five panchayats are witnessing a flurry of developmental activities on a war footing. The people at large seem to have embraced the state’s Aasdwar programme in a big way. So this case study of Sandesh amplifies the truth that Naxalism can be defeated and eliminated by the process of developWe ment and a new social order. 73

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The lovely little lass strikes different poses in these dresses of varied designs and fashion in keeping with her naughty charm.

Contours of expression
Superbly dressed: The little miss looks elegant in this pants and stylish top with a tie. The belt and sandals complement the attire. Look for me: The stylish dress and the matching shoes play up her bold personality.

Taking on the world: Attired in frilled frock and patterned nickers the kid is eager to go out and mix with her friends.

Sitting pretty: The flowery frock is enhancing her innocent beauty. The inventive hairdo has added grace to her cherubic face.

When they bloom, these flowering shrubs, make your garden an aesthetic place for visitors.

VERSATILE

By Som Dutt

VIBURNUMS

FOR AESTHETIC BEAUTY

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iburnums enriched with 175 diverse shrubs or dwarf trees are found in India. They are valued for their attractive flowers, decora tive foliage and coloured fruits. The flowers, snowball type, are globular cymes, which also attract onlookers. The showy flowers and brightly coloured fruits make the garden an aesthetically rich place for visitors. All its types of plants are ideally suited for planting on borders of shrubberies, informal hedges, or for screening and planting along roads. Though viburnums have long been one of the most popular and highly prized flowering shrubs for landscaping, their beauty still has a charismatic effect when planted in a garden or anywhere. They can find ways to suit the need of a garden – wet or dry, sunny or shady, natural or formal, shrub or tree and native or exotic. Their blooming times span early spring through June. The flowering season, very beautiful, is followed with equally attractive fruits and outstanding fall foliage. The flowers, emitting musk-like fragrance, are quite useful in the perfumery industry. The fruits are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially

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vitamin A, C and E, flavonoids and other bioactive compounds. The handsome fruits appeal to birds. The fruits of some species are sour in taste. They may be eaten in place of anardana. The juice of fruits is highly useful in indigestion. A dye is also obtained from its fruits. Besides, the fruits are useful in other human diseases also. Scientifically known as viburnum species, it has many species. Of them, only Viburnum cotinifolium, V.cylindricum and V.mullaha are popularly-grown viburnums. All viburnums can easily be grown in light to heavy soils but the soil should be moist. They can be grown even in alkaline conditions. Semishaded conditions are conducive. Generally, its plants are self-incompatible, hence they need to be grown close to other distinct plants of the same species to get fertile fruits as well as seeds.

Viburnum cotinifolium: It is a deciduous shrub, growing to 1.5-3.0 metres high. Its leaves are ovate to heart-shaped. The flowers are mildly scented. The leaves show a rich orange colour,

giving a good showy effect when grown as a border plant. It is grown by seeds easily. Layering of the current season’s grown plants in July-August is also successful.

V. cylindricum: An evergreen shrub, its plants grow to a five metres height. Its leaves are glabrous. Flowers in abundance are available from July to September. Its plants are grown by seeds. Cuttings of the current year’s grown plants grow into beautiful plants in the spring season. V.mullaha: Its plants are shrubs, growing to five metres in height. The white flowers have a pleasant aroma during June-August. The fruits are bright red and shining. They too look very beautiful in winter. Its plants are ideal specimen in moist and dry locations. Its plants can also be easily grown. Its plants can be grown by sowing seeds. The plant cuttings too grow well if planted well. The cuttings
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should be collected from semi-hard stems and they need to be treated with Indole butaric acid (1000 ppm) in the spring and summer seasons. Early spring is deal time for planting. Young plants are fit for planting. Most of the viburnums prefer full sunlight but grow well in partially shaded conditions also. They like moderate fertile soil with a pH value of 5.6-6.6. Since few pests attack viburnums, they are ideal and popular in landscaping. Recently, the viburnum leaf beetle has been noticed to attack its plants. It causes a great loss. Therefore, to have a watch on its appearance is quite necessary. There is no singular viburnum foliage. It can be rounded, lanceshaped or toothed, smooth, velvety or rough. There are some evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous varieties having outstanding fall colour. Most viburnums have pinkish flowers which are sometimes fragrant. The flowers themselves come in three major types. They are: flat clusters of florets; flat umbels outlined with larger flowers, resembling lacecap hydrangeas; and dome-shaped, snowball-like clusters. Almost all varieties of viburnums produce attractive clusters of drupe type fruits which are popular among birds, wildlife and human-beings. We 77

April (Second) 2009

SUSTAIN THAT SPARKLE &
Great tips to keep your gems glittering for life.

SHINE

By Bhavna Keswani

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he sheen of an exquisite piece of jewellery would definitely make one get noticed by, but all without its lustre, the same piece would lose its charm. Since jewellery is worn almost every day, it is exposed to dust, sweat and other chemicals which can make it look dull and tarnished. Hence, the need to keep jewellery clean and storing it with utmost care cannot be overemphasised. First, know how susceptible your jewellery is to scratches and chemical products. Hardness is based on a gem-trade standard called the Mohs scale. The higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the stone is. The highest scale rating is 10 for diamonds. Anything with a Mohs scale rating of less than seven is easily scratched such as pearl, opal, coral and turquoise. Gold, silver and platinum are only Mohs 21/2 to 4. It is extremely important that pieces of jewellery are stored separately so that they don’t get scratched and broken. Store it right and your jewellery will look new and last you a lifetime. Keep your ornaments in cases with soft-lined insides or in soft-fabric pouches. You can also wrap them in tissue paper and then keep in a box. Don’t be under the impression that if you won’t wear your jewellery often, it will have its glow intact. Jewellery, whether worn frequently or not, has to be taken care of and cleaned on a regular basis to keep it radiant.

Gold: Gold can be scratched and dented if you are not careful. Rings and bracelets tend to damage more than earrings or necklace simply because of where they are worn. Chemicals in beauty products, perfumes and hair spray can rob the gold jewellery of its sheen. Even the chlorinated water in the swimming pools causes the gold to become weak and prone to breaking. So don’t wear your gold in a swimming pool. Take your jewellery off while doing household chores or else wear rubber gloves for protection. Clean your gold jewellery with a soft toothbrush and soapy water. Grease can be removed by dipping the jewellery into plain rubbing alcohol. Always, rinse thoroughly and dry after cleaning. If moisture is left on your jewellery, it can cause the springs and clasps of the jewellery to get weak over time. Silver: Silver tarnishes when exposed to air. Don’t store silver in plastic bags as it contains sulphur compounds which can cause tarnish faster. Even wood and rubber promotes tarnish. To clean silver jewellery pieces, make a dip using baking soda, aluminium foil and hot water. Place aluminium foil in a bowl and pour hot water into it. Then put fresh baking soda into the water. Submerge the silver jewellery in the water and allow it to soak for half an hour. Then, rinse it and allow it to dry. Pearls: Pearls are organic stones and react quickly to any form of chemicals like perfumes, lotions and hair spray. These chemicals not only cause the pearls to lose their lustre, but also stain them. So wear your pearl jewellery at the end after you have applied perfume and lotions. Clean pearls only with lukewarm water and never brush them in any way. Wipe them with a soft cotton cloth. Diamonds: Clean diamonds in the same way that you would clean
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your gold pieces. However, avoid touching them too much as the natural skin oils in your fingers can cause them to lose their shine.

Platinum: Platinum is quite durable in that way. It does not get tarnished or discoloured very easily. Nevertheless, you still have to take care of it because it can be scratched if not properly stored. Platinum can be cleaned in the same manner as gold. Coloured gemstones: Sunlight can cause many coloured gemstones to fade, change colour or even crack. Gemstones like emerald, coral, amber and turquoise should not be cleaned with soap and water. Just use a soft damp cloth to wipe them clean. And always remember to put on your perfume, deo spray or hair spray before you wear your delicate stones, otherwise it can cause stains and discolouring in the stones. Be careful when you are cleaning your jewellery in a sink. Put a stopper on before cleaning lest your precious jewellery go down the drain. Better still, clean them in a bowl. Also remember that, apart from cleaning and storing your jewellery well at home, have it professionally cleaned and polished at least once a year. Then, when you will sport your sparklers, rest assured that they would have a bedazzling effect on We everyone around you!
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Kamal Hassan (of Ek Duje ke Liye and Chachi 420 fame) delivered the key note speech on ‘Focus South’.

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emember how the highly successful (Indian Premiere League) cricket matches had affected the box-office collections of quite a few films last year? And certain exhibitions and distributors had wished that these matches don’t become an annual event. here can be no two opinions that 23rd and 24th February 2009 will always remain red letter days for Indian cinema, for on these two days as many as three film celebrities bagged the coveted oscar awards out of the eight won by Slumdog Millionaire. Directed by British director, Danny Boyle, the film

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Deepika Padukone, lighted the traditional lamp, during FICCI 2009.

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he annual FICCI 2009 connection, held at Hotel Rennaisance, was not found wanting in any way. If on the one hand, it had good deal of glamour and glitz, thanks to the presence of Deepika Padukone (who lighted the traditional lamp) Kareena Kapoor, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan, on the other a post of burning issues affecting the film industry were discussed.

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he three-day meet ended with the “10 most powerful entertainers of the decade” being honoured with the FICCI frames – IIFA awards 2009, Sharmila Tagore was honoured with the Living Legend Award.

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ash Chopra, chairman of the FICCI Entertainment Committee presented a token of gratitude to Union Minister of state for Information and Broadcasting, Mr Anand Sharma.

hile renowned journalist-turnedfilm maker interacted with Rahul Bose on the Globalisation of Indian Cinema’, another well known journalist Kaveree Bamzai interacted with Mahesh Bhat and others on copy, cut, paste to Indian taste: Films in India.

Sharmila Tagore was honoured with the Living Legend Award.

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amesh Sippy (of Sholay and Shakti fame) spoke on DeRisking the cinema business and Woman’s Era

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revolves around Mumbai’s slum, Dharavi, reportedly the biggest slum in Asia!

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ell, whether they like it or not, preparations are already on for the IPL-2, and quite a few stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty, Juhi Chawla, and heavily loaded businessman like Mukesh Ambani and Vijay Mallya are already busy acquiring their stakes. If a few film makers have to re-schedule their releases, it’s their headache.
Clockwise from Top Left: Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta & Ness Wadia, Vijay Mallya and Mukesh Ambani – IPL Franchise Owners.

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enerally it’s the producer who hosts a party to mark the completion of a film, but in the case of Sajid Nadiawala's film Kambakht Ishq, it is the cast of his film who threw the party, more so since the party coincided with Sajid’s 43rd birthday. Those attended the party included Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Amrita Arora, Farah Khan and many others. usic director A. R. Rahman topped the list of winners with two Oscars – one for the best original music score and one for the best song (Jai Ho), which he shares with lyricist Gulzar who wrote the song.

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esul Pookutty dedicated his Oscar for the best sound mixing to his country and said he was happy at sharing the stage with two magicians. Rahman and Gulzar – who created the soul-stiring music for the film. s if it was not enough that slumdog millionaire had bagged three Oscars, Smile Pinki , a short documentary directed by American director Megan Mylan, also bagged one Oscar. The documentary revolves around a six year old girl Pinki from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, who is socially ostracised because she has a cleft lip. However, she is accepted back once her deformity is cured. o far Bhanu Athaiya, the dress designer for Gandhi also a film made by a Britisher, Richard Attenborough in 1983, was the sole recipient of an Oscar. Of courses, an Oscar was also conferred on late Satyajit Ray as a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Music director A.R. Rahman showing two Oscars.

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peaking on the occasion, Rahman said, “The essence of the film is optimism and the power of hope in our lives.” He also thanked his mother for going all the way to Hollywood to attend the award presentation ceremony and mouthed the popular line from Deewar: Mere Paas Ma Hai.
Kareena Kapoor with others in the cast of ‘Kambakht Ishq’, threw a party on the 43rd birthday of the producer of the film.

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other India produced and directed by late Mehboob Khan in mid-50s was not only the first Indian film to be nominated in the foreign film category, it went closest to the award. Unfortunately, it lost the honour by a single vote. How sad indeed? nil Kapoor may not have won an Oscar, but he had exhilarating

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hat film wallas always want to cash on a topical subject is also proved by the decision of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor to play terrorists, now that the spot light is on terrorism in the wake of terrorists attack on Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai which claimed 183 lives!

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career in films is not a bed of roses. Actors have to make a sacrifice once in a while. There is hardly any surprise, therefore, if Priyanka Chopra decided to chop off her long and lusterours hair for a forthcoming Yashraj film titled Pyar Impossible . Money makes almost everything possible. Right? jay Devgan was in the news recently, albeit for an undesirable reason: for an alleged duty evasion on an imported superbike which was a part of a consignment of 70 superbikes. Sleuths of the revenue intelligence seized the consignment. Right Mr. Devgan? n 27 January, 2008 Amitabh Bachchan laid the foundation stone of a girls’ college in Daulatpur, Uttar Pradesh, with all the fanfare and had promised that the college to be named after Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would come up in six months but more than a year after the foundation stone laying ceremony in the presence of Ash, Abhishek and in all probability, Ch. Amar Singh, leader of the Samajwadi Party, work has not yet even been started on the construction of the building. Amitabh would do well to recall the line from a famous English poet. “I have a promise to keep”. What do you think, Mr Bachchan?

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Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor will play the roles of terrorists, in the film, the shooting of which is yet to start.

movements interacting with very beautiful Kate Winslet, Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman and Clint Eastwood, among others. Of course, he bagged a BAFTA award too for playing the T.V. host in Slumdog Millionaire.

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uess how a smart diplomatturned-writer Vikas Swarup profited from the distinction achieved by Slumdog Millionaire. He replaced the cover of his book, already in the market with a cover carrying the photos of the hero and heroine of the film and the sale did a high jump!

inger Sukhwinder Singh whose voice is one of the voices used in Jai Ho, the Oscar Anthem in Slumdog Millionaire has reason to be more happy than others, for over the past few years, he felt that Rahman has the merit to win either the Grammy or an Oscar. And Rahman has not let him down. hat the film industry has started feeling the cash crunch is amply proved by the news that Yash Raj films has reportedly decided to sack 20 of its employees. Many more film makers may have to tighten their (fiscal) belts.
Singer Sukhwinder Singh is singing with the group Slumdog Millionaire’s Jai Ho.

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f Dame Luck is out to smile on someone, it does even if one is kicked out of a project! Oscar winning lyricist Gulzar who wrote mora gora rang lai lo for Bandini may not have drawn the attention of director Bimal Roy if he (Gulzar) had not been kicked out by S. D. Burman as a lyricist. Bimal Roy invited Gulzar to join him as an assistant for Kabuliwala an assignments which offered multi dimensional possibilities, most of which Gulzar has already achieved! Laudable indeed.

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ow that Indian actors and Indian cinema are going global, yet another technician, an art director to be precise, is taking a global high jump: noted art director from Bombay Filmdom, Nitin Desai is all set to make his debut in an Hollywood film. He’s going to design an antique train for a Michael Douglas film. Wow! – Deepak Puri.

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Q & A
I am 22 years old and have recently developed whitish patches on my chest. I sweat profusely and have an oily skin. Please advise. You are suffering from a condition called pityriasis vesicular caused by organism microsporan furfur. Treatment of the condition is both general and local. You should have regular baths daily and change of underclothing. Being mildly contagious, precaution among family members must be taken. Antifungal drugs and local application of a solution can cure you. For this you will have to take the advice of your doctor. Though recovery takes place normal pigmentation of the skin may take time to return. I am 28 years old and have recently delivered a baby whom I am breastfeeding. The shape of my breasts is very good but now I am afraid that breastfeeding will spoil their shape. Please help. Motherhood is nature’s gift to you. There is no doubt that the body is affected during pregnancy but

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generally, within four to six weeks of delivery, it tends to return to the previous shape. But in this you will have to help nature by a wellbalanced diet regimen and exercise programme. Breastfeeding your baby can help to shape your body. You will have to take care of your breasts by proper support and massage and you will regain their old shape.

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I am a 30-year-old housewife. My problem is that recently two of our close family members died of cancer (breast and cervix). I am really panicky. Could you suggest some general guidelines to save me and my family from falling victims to cancer. It would be essential for you to go to your doctor for a complete checkup so that any sign of early cancer can be detected. You may get a mammogram for exclusion of breast cancer and PAP smear for carcinoma of the cervix. Besides this, take care of your diet. Reduce fat in your diet. Eat more fibre-rich foods. Avoid smoked and salt-preserved foods. Your diet should have plenty of fresh fruits and green vegetables.

I am 22 years old. My problem is that I gnash and grind my teeth during my sleep. This has put a lot of strain on me. Please advise. Yours is not an isolated case. Lots of men and women suffer from it. Very often, this behaviour is a person’s response to anxiety or stress. I think you should look into this aspect very carefully. Very often there is subconscious stress that the sufferer may not be aware of. Other causes include malaligned teeth or when a single filing of teeth protrudes too high. It might be advisable to see your dentist who might be able to solve your problem.

I am a 30-year-old housewife. Of late, I have developed tremors in my hands. I am very worried. I have read somewhere that this may be early signs of shaking palsy. Please help. Tremors in hands can be due to various causes and these include anxiety and over-functioning of the thyroid gland (thyrotoxicosis). You should consult your doctor who after examining and investigating you, will be able to locate the cause. Your worry about developing Parkinson’s disease (shaking palsy) is not well founded. Victims of the disease are generally of an older age-group and early symptoms include a slight difficulty in standing up or walking along with heaviness of limbs.

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I am a 40-year-old housewife and mother of two teenage daughters. I am on oral pills for the last seven years. I read somewhere about the side effects of the pills and this has made me very afraid. Please advise. Your fears are well founded. Women are likely to develop side effects like jaundice, high blood pressure and chances of developing thrombosis in the veins leading to pulmonary embolism, etc. But all these side-effects are in women who take pills containing high levels of female hormones for long periods. I think you should see your doctor who will prescribe the pills containing low levels of hormones.

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I am 40 years old. My husband who is 45 years old has recently suffered a heart attack. My whole life has come crashing. I wonder if we will be able to have a normal sex relationship. Please advise. You are unnecessarily getting panicky. Studies done in this regard have shown that, as exercise, a sexual relationship is no more physically taxing than walking briskly. You will have to consult your doctor in this regard who will be able to assess your husband’s cardiac status. Sex after a heart attack is generally safe if done with proper precautions and without undue excitement. — Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.

BEWARE IT’S DEADLY OF TSS:
Precautionary measures against and treatment for TSS.
By Vikas Kumar Jain

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f you’re a girl who’s had her periods you may have heard fright e ning stories about toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a serious illness originally linked to the use of tampons. But TSS isn’t strictly related to tampons. The contrace ptive sponge and the diaph ragm, two types of birth control methods, have been linked to TSS. And, sometimes, the infection has occurred as a result of wounds or surgery, where the skin has been broken, allowing bacteria to enter. TSS can happen to anyone — men, women and even children — and it can be serious, and fatal if not treated. If you’re concerned about TSS the smartest thing you can do is to take some precautions. Woman’s Era

What is toxic shock syndrome? TSS is a systemic illness, which means that it affects the whole body. It can be caused by one of two different types of bacteria, Staphy lococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes — although toxic shock that is caused by the Streptococcus bacteria is rarer. These bacteria can produce toxins toxins. In some people whose bodies can’t fight these toxins, the immune system reacts. This reaction causes the symptoms associated with TSS. When people think of TSS, they often think of tampon usage. That’s because the earliest cases of the illness, back in the late ’s70s, were related to super-absorbent tampons. Research led to better tampons and better habits for using them — such

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as changing tampons more often. The number of TSS cases dropped dramatically. Today about half of all TSS cases are linked to menstruation apart from tampon use, TSS has been linked to skin infections that are typically minor and can be associated with the chickenpox rash. TSS has also been reported following surgical proce dures, giving birth, and prolonged use of nasal packing for nose bleeds.

this can vary depending on the cause of the infection.

Signs and symptoms Symptoms of TSS occur suddenly. As it’s an illness that is caused by a toxin, many of the body’s systems are affected. The signs and symp toms of TSS include: ● High fever (38.8o Celsius) ● Rapid drop in blood pressure (with light-headedness or fainting) ● Sunburn-like rash on the entire body. ● Vomiting and diarrhoea ● Severe muscle aches or weakness ● Bright red colouring of the eyes, throat, and vagina ● Headache, confusion, disorientation, or seizures ● Kidney and other organ failure The average time before symptoms appear for TSS is 2-3 days after an infection with Staphylococcus or Streptococcus, although

Prevention You can reduce the risk by simply taking some common sense precautions: ● Clean and bandage any skin wounds ● Change bandages regularly, rather than keeping them on for several days. ● Check wounds for signs of infection. If a wound gets red, swollen, painful, or tender, or if you develop a fever, call your doctor right away. ● If you are a girl whose period has started, the best way to avoid TSS is to use sanitary napkins What do doctors do? instead of tampons. TSS is a medical emergency. If ● For girls who prefer to use you think you (or someone you know) tampons, select the ones with the may have TSS, consult a doctor right lowest absorbency that can handle away. Depending on the symptoms, your menstrual flow and a doctor may refer you to change them frequently. the emergency TSS is a You can also alternate the department for immediate medical use of tampons with sanitary evaluation and testing. emergency. napkins. If you’ve already If doctors suspect had an episode of TSS or TSS, they will probably If you think have been infected with start intravenous (IV) you (or S. aureus, don’t use fluids and antibiotics as someone tampons or contraceptive soon as possible. They you know) devices that have been may take a sample from may have associated with TSS (such the suspected site of the as diaphragms and infection, such as the TSS, contraceptive sponges). skin, nose or vagina, to consult a check it for TSS. They doctor right may also take a blood away. sample. Other blood tests can help monitor how various organs like the kidneys are working and check for other diseases that may be causing the symptoms. Medical staff remove tampons, contraceptive devices or wound packing; clean any wounds; and, if there is a pocket of infection (called an abscess), a doctor may need to drain pus from the infected area. People with TSS typically need to stay in hospital, often in the intensive care unit, for several days to closely monitor blood pressure, respiratory status, and to look for signs of other problems, such as organ damage. So, pay attention to preventive We measures.
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How to get your kisser into the best lip-smacking condition!
By Dr Parveen Prakash

NEW GENERATION KISSING
anything that remotely suggests an act of romance outside the confines of one’s home. Further, there has always been an ongoing battle between the censor board and the film-maker. However, things are surely changing with heroines like Bipasha Basu talking about her kiss with John Abraham.

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he world over, youth is becoming more open with a liberal attitude to love and sex. Even in China's capital city of Beijing, you can see young couples on an endless honeymoon exchanging passionate kisses. In tight clinches, hugging with heads on each other’s laps in public places, China’s lovers have become metaphors of a confident country on the move, liberated and enlightened. A little bit of passion doesn’t hurt anybody, does it? Usually people censor themselves before their mush-act turns into a nuisance for others. But in Kama Sutra country, the scenario is totally different. India is neither a Beijing nor a Paris. Here, the kisses are kept to the confines of the bedroom. What to talk of expressing affection in public, the current generation has never seen their parents being physical, kissing cuddling or even touching each other. In public, policemen jump at

A kiss revolves around relationships and sex: Kissing is an evolved courtship ritual. At the moment of a kiss there’s a complicated exchange of information – everything from posture to tactile to chemical clues. Between a man and a woman, a kiss is the indication of affection, desire and often a precursor to sex. A typical kiss starts with a touch of the lips, followed by individual movement of the tongue. The first kiss is supposed to send shivers of pleasure down your body. Gordon Gallup, an evolutionary psychologist carried out a study on the kiss at the
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State University of New York and found: ● Women think of long-term relationships while kissing and men think of sex. ● Men like their kisses wetter and with more tongue contact than women. ● Women place more importance than men on the state of their kissing partner’s teeth. ● Compared to women, more men like to have sex with someone without kissing.

Making the act of kissing romantic and unforgettable: If you are still a novice at kissing, learn how to enjoy your kisses. Some really hot guys have absolutely no idea how to make your juices flow simply because they are just not attuned to the pucker power you desire. These surefire tips will help your guy become the kind of kisser that makes you melt. Don’t miss them! If a woman likes to be kissed in a

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particular manner then sooner or later she has to make her husband aware of that desire. Instead of telling him what he’s doing wrong, show him how to do it right, says Shelley Hess, author of Pucker Power: Great Kissers Make Great Lovers. Setting an example is the easiest way to break the ice in the lesson of kissing. While guiding your guy in the art of kissing the slower your approach is, the less it will seem like a lesson. Keep your kisses soft and sweet – at first. Soon, you’ll have him exactly where you want him – begging for more. Men consider little pecks on their cheeks, eyes and foreheads romantic. As the passion builds, caress his tongue with yours as you run your fingers up and down his body concentrating on sensitive spots such as his nipples. Make sure you don’t let him have the upper hand. When you’re fired up for a ‘take me now’ caveman-style lip-lock, press your lips together really tight. Then place your hands on his buns and pull his pelvis closer till you’re both in a hot clinch. Biting, nibbling and sucking each other’s lips boosts blood flow, making you more sensitive. Finally, when he is motivated and begins to mirror you, treat him to some positive feedback (moaning works!) to ensure that he learns the new rhythm. You’ll both soon achieve lip-locks that’ll have you levitating with lust.

● When parting, some guys often give only a quick peck or one-armed hug with little effort. Why? He might be distracted or just late for work. ● Most guys hold back from engaging in deep, lusty lip-locks in front of others. So if he is showing this kind of reluctance in public, his sexual attraction for you is powerful. He’s probably also a very passionate person to begin with a thrill-seeking type who takes risks and always pushes the envelope.

Focus on the surprising features of kiss ● The average person spends 336 hours of his or her life kissing. At an approximate length of one minute each, that’s 20,160 kisses. ● Good, rich and passionate kissing can burn up to 600 calories an hour. ● Kissing each day will keep the dentist away. Kissing increases the mouth’s production of saliva, and saliva helps to clean the mouth thus aids prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. In the long term this can even help to head off a heart attack because gum disease increases the risk of heart attack. ● A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. Our brains have special neurons that help us locate each other’s lips in the dark. kiss turn-offs Here’s what guys hate about kissing: ● When the girl holds guy’s head in a vice and goes at him like a sledge hammer. Yes, it happens, believe me! ● Hairy upper lips are a major nono. ● When a woman has no passion and feeling in her kiss. ● Bad breath is a huge turn-off, especially if you’re in a romantic mood. ● Women talk so much; it would be really good if she shuts up when kissing. ● Unwanted aggression.
Woman’s Era

IF YOU ARE STILL A NOVICE AT KISSING, LEARN HOW TO ENJOY YOUR KISSES. SOME REALLY HOT GUYS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA HOW TO MAKE YOUR JUICES FLOW SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST NOT ATTUNED TO THE PUCKER POWER YOU DESIRE.

Celebrate sex-me-up smooches ● If nine times out of 10 he plants a soft, tender kiss on your cheek, then your beau is the sensitive type. This is a paternal gesture that shows he wants to take care of you. ● If you and your guy regularly part with a lengthy lip-lock, then damn, you’re lucky! This man is incredibly passionate and highly erotic say body-language experts. ● A guy who frequently says goodbye with a bear hug is comfortable showing you the love. He’s confident about the relationship and likely sees a future with you, says communication expert Carolyn Finch.

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THE AVERAGE PERSON SPENDS 336 HOURS OF HIS OR HER LIFE KISSING. AT AN APPROXIMATE LENGTH OF ONE MINUTE EACH, THAT’S 20,160 KISSES.
Terminology that guides to establish genuine bonds The surprise kiss: A kiss delivered when it is least expected can have a wonderful effect. It has a magical effect if one of you is feeling sleepy or angry about something. It is a declaration of a truce and love. The bite kiss: It is a naughty declaration of love between the lovers. It should not be kept confined to ears or lips and can be implanted anywhere on the body. It often leaves a mark on the lover’s body. The fleeting kiss: It is often a

greeting kiss between lovers at the end of the working day, or a simple goodnight. It is a brief meeting of lips. The naughty kiss: It begins with a fleeting touch but later the lovers’ tongues touch each other tentatively, to only pull back with a promise of love later. The French kiss: It’s putting and twirling the tongue in each others’ mouths. It is considered to be the most popular kiss. The intense french kiss: It is common in Hollywood movies. It involves a sucking type motion. Often, coupled with caressing each other, this kiss is a hot and steamy’ declaration of love and ownership.

teases him into a frenzy and makes him want to grab right then and there. ● If your crave a slow, sensual make-out sensation, gaze into his eyes as you cup his chin and guide him towards you gently. Don’t make any sudden move, otherwise you’ll ruin the momentum. ● A light, soft playful and fun coupled kiss can be made into a demanding, urgent statement for your man.

Resolve kiss crisis Never forget to acknowledge and appreciate romantic mouth manoeuvers. Your guy might be unsure of your real feeling and might feel let down. ● Odour of your breath matters. Avoid such strongly flavoured foods as garlic, onion or pickle etc. before kissing. ● Avoid a nose clash, by standing close but with a slight tilt of your head. ● It is indeed difficult to keep your eyes open during a hot kiss. You need not put brakes on this reflex action while enjoying a kiss. ● Too much of lipstick makes a kiss cumbersome and can put a man off. It doesn’t look very desirable when it is smudged. Harmonise your kiss to keep the relationship alive ● Feathery kisses all over the face send the right message and can be as inspiring as tongue-to-tongue kissing. ● If your man doesn’t know he’s missing the mark, stop the kiss, but not the affection. Simply pull your face away mid-kiss and nibble his neck, lick his ear, or suck on his lower lip. That will subtly send the message that his mouth manoeuvers aren’t cutting it with you and make him stop the tempo and the style. ● Variations in your reaction is as important as action. This coy ploy

Perfect pout a blessing for sexy kisses A perfect pair of lips should be in profile, a gentle S-shaped curve between the lips and the chin, with a 4mm depression between the two. The upper lip should be no more than 75 per cent the size of the lower lip, which ensures that lips play in indispensable role in the love game which often begins with a kiss. According to a survey conducted by a British company, Harris Research, “Most men feel that fully curly lips are more attractive and kissable than thin lips.” You are lucky if your lips have natural bee-stung puffiness. A luscious mouth is just incredibly captivating because men are subconsciously drawn to a plush mouth. There’s a theory that, over the centuries, women developed curvy lips to attract men because they signal youth, health and fertility, says anthropologists Helen Fisher. Being packed with nerve endings, lips broadcast that you’re able to feel a lot, through a kiss. All of this means that a full, shapely mouth can exert a prehistorical pull on a man. Angelina Jolie probably has one of the hottest bodies in Hollywood but she is famous for her pout! Just thinking about it sends men’s hearts racing! That is what we call a perfect pout. Unfortunately, not all of us are as blessed. We have those hiddenunder-the-carpet lip problems – wrinkle lines, dry, chapped lips, paper-thin or smile-and-you-reachthe-moon lips. Here’s how to touch up and make your pout come alive: ● If you have thin lips, use a

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primer before your lipstick. It stings for a bit, but pumps up your lips and offers them the perfect volume. ● If you have wrinkly lips, use a light reflecting lipstick which reduces the appearance of wrinkles. ● If you have a discoloured lips, you can set them right by applying a lip base before you smooth on lipstick or gloss. Or just dab on a little foundation or loose powder all over your lips. Not only will this let the colour show better, it will also make it stay on longer. ● Women with broader lips should not go in for darker colours as it makes the lips look thinner. Instead, apply a shade darker than the natural skin tone of your lips and finish off with a gloss to get that perfect pout.

mouth a silent ‘O’. That’s what we call a perfect pout. Make sure that you keep your lips slightly apart at all times. Lips look most alluring when they’re slightly parted and you see a sliver of teeth. Always part your lips. Otherwise, if the mouth is closed, you get that tight, clenched look which isn’t as sexy.

Want to know more kisserenhancing tips? Healthy lips look kissable. Before applying any make-up, exfoliate your lips by rubbing them against a baby towel. This brings a natural flash to your lips. Lipstick is considered a morale-booster and is essentially helpful in giving you self-respect and self-confidence. If your kisser isn’t as shapely as you’d like, here’s a quick fix: ● Line your lips outside the natural line of your lips to make them look plumper. Use a liner that is the same colour as your skin. ● After applying your lipstick dot the centre of your upper and lower lips with lip sheen or gloss. This will make the spot look plumper and create a bee-stung effect. Use sheen in copper, pale gold or silver pigment for the centre to maximise the effect. ● Apply a thin line of highlighter along your Cupid’s bow. It’s the spot directly above the centre of your lip. Light will bounce off it and automatically help play up the curves. ● Choose the right shade of lipstick. Know where to put it and how much to put. A dark shade of red makes your lips look thinner and make you look mature. Instead, opt for a colour which complements your skin. ● Stand in front of the mirror and

Not happy with the shape of your lips? Opt for Hi-tech transformation The lips lose volume with age and the overlying skin also tends to get dry, giving a shrivelled look. This makes you look older. This volume can be added to with filler materials that resemble the ground substance of our own skin. Injections of material like collagen or fat are used in lip enhancement. Simple injections provide instant enhancement as well as adjust asymmetrical contours. This can be done under local anaesthesia. Collagen (an animal extract), dermalogen (derived from human skin), autologen (made from the patient’s skin) or a fat injection from fat taken from the patient’s body during liposuction, are materials used in lip enhancement surgery. Lip surgery is one of the commonest look-altering procedures. Cosmetic surgery can be used to correct asymmetrical lips and plump up thin lips. And it’s not just the models and actresses who are opting for it. In today’s appearanceconscious society, the average middle-class woman doesn’t mind paying to better the way her lips look. But choose a surgeon who is well qualified reputed and experienced if you opt to go under the knife. Botox and plastic surgery aren’t your only option. Try the new L’Oreal Volume Perfect Lip Colour, a dual-ended lip colour to camouflage your imperfect lips. It promises to reshape, recontour and reinvent your lips. Hitech ingredients like collagen complex, optical pearls and moisturisers help erase fine lines, increase fullness and give definition – all at the same time.
Woman’s Era

THERE’S A THEORY THAT, OVER THE CENTURIES, WOMEN DEVELOPED CURVY LIPS TO ATTRACT MEN BECAUSE THEY SIGNAL YOUTH, HEALTH AND FERTILITY, SAYS ANTHROPOLOGISTS HELEN FISHER.

Strike at smooth going for your lips Your lips are among the most sensitive areas of your body. The thin skin on your lips is vulnerable to the sun. Therefore, you need to protect them all year round. Keep rays from parching your pucker. Just like you need sun protection for your face and body, you need sunscreen for your lips too, as lips do not tan, but burn. This is especially necessary if you use gloss, as lip glosses attract the sun’s rays. So invest in a chapstick that contains sunscreen and smooth it over your lips every day before you step out into the sun. Exfoliate your lips twice a week to eliminate dry rough patches. Dry cells accumulate on your lips and the goop which settles at the corners of our lips can be quite gross. To get rid of this problem, exfoliate your lips once in 15 days while you’re in a shower. We
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April (Second) 2009

CREATING MUSIC
ON CANVAS

An artist who has made music his subject. He literally paints music.
By Our Correspondent

C

an you see colours in classical music? Can you create music in colours? Veteran artist Dr Ranjit Singh Gill does both. He perceives colours in ragas and raganis based on Indian ( Hindustani ) classical music. Not only does he perceive these colours but also, employing his fertile imagination, portrays sur and taals of these same ragas and raganis on canvas using visible colours. Retired from government service, Dr Gill devotes all his time to visualising and converting intangible music into tangible shapes. He has a very musical family background. His interest in art brought him into the art field. Here he gained formal art education from the College of Fine Arts, Delhi. Not only this, he passed his BFA in the first division and went to The Netherlands for higher studies on winning a scholarship. He then even obtained a doctorate in arts also – a title that only a few go for and only the rare ones manage to achieve. Woman’s Era

His studio named Studio Ragmala on the terrace of his airy and spacious residence in Faridabad bears a very musical ambience. About his choice of making music his subject, Dr Gill says there is music all around us. There is music in the air, there is music in the water, and there is music in all of nature. Even the so-called inanimate objects also are capable of producing music. But most people fail to perceive this omnipresent music because of the constant chattering that goes on in their minds. However, when you listen to music and concentrate on it, your internal chattering subsides and you begin to experience a blissful state. You need not be a savant of music to achieve this state. All that you need is a good listening habit. Music itself then takes you along its depth, he says. But the task of a musician does not end here, especially if he is an artist also. Then his artistic creativity craves to come out. Dr Gill prefers to use oil colours to portray his imagination. According

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Ragmala painting.

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to him, oil colours mix very well and produce astonishing effects on canvas, just like nature would on the vast canvas. This quality of oil colours certainly compensates for their only demerit – that they take long to dry up. But Dr Gill’s choice for shades and hues is not bound or limited. He chooses his shades and tinges mending to the requirements of the painting.

Profile
Dr Ranjit Singh Gill is an artist of considerable merit. He was born in Punjab, where the village life has had a powerful impact on his subtle mind and imagination and inspired him to paint and write. He started painting when he was only eight under the guidance of a family friend, the artist Kumawat. Gill’s first solo show was held in 1960. His formal education in arts began thereafter. He started as a realistic painter, then switched over to pure abstraction, in accordance with the contemporary trend. But he soon felt that both styles had limited the free expression of his emotions. He wanted to give his works a mystic quality and for this surrealism seemed to be the best mode, as it dealt with dreaming and there was no end to dreaming. Till date, he has more than 100 solo shows to his credit and still continues to create new paintings with full enthusiasm and vigour. Apart from India, he has toured widely in European countries and the USA.

He says, “Each and every raga can be depicted only with a particular colour that well suits its mood. Any change in shades will alter the meaning of the raga.” How? “There is a particular time for a particular raga, when it can be sung or played. The nature of that particular moment too bears particular shades of colours. For instance, there is raga Megh. It is particularly sung or played in the rainy season, when dense clouds brood over the sky. But it will remain Megh only as long as these clouds do not begin to rain. So it is portrayed as brooding clouds in dark grey shades with other objects being depicted in their natural colours. “But as soon as these clouds begin to rain, the nature of the raga also alters. It becomes Megh Malhar from simply Megh. As such, it has to be portrayed in different shades now as clouds with raindrops and flashes of lightning among them. Such a portrayal gives the onlooker a real Woman’s Era

feel of that particular weather. At the same time, he would experience the undulating sound waves associated with the raga, also called aaroh and avaroha (crescendo and diminuendo) along with the thunder of the lightning,” explains Dr Gill. Likewise, there is raga Ahir Bhairav . Dr Gill has portrayed this raga as an early morning environment – the time when it is sung – in tones of orange, magenta, blue and yellow. The last colour is particularly significant as it conveys the impression of a golden morning. The shastriya sangeet (classical music) of the family and a thorough study of the Gurbani, ragas and ragmala of the Guru Granth Sahib inspired him to create ragmala paintings. Each of paintings in his ragmala series was done after an indepth study of individual ragas . Once he was thorough in the theory behind a particular raga , he would request his guru to render the raga vocally and, while the guru was doing so, he would make rough sketches with pastel colours capturing the atmosphere and the manner his emotions reacted to the raga . That was how intangible ragas got tangible appearance in his paintings. In his words: “The Ragmala paintings represent a philosophy comprehensive enough to embrace complete knowledge. A system of meditation which will produce the power of concentrating the mind upon anything whatsoever, and an art of living which will enable one to utilise each activity of the body, speech and mind as an aid to the path of liberation. Writing prose and poetry is yet another aspect of Dr Gill’s multifarious personality. He says, “As an artist, writer and poet, I am trying to give something to this field of my beloved country and the world, specially for research scholars, who are really in search of something new.” Trying to explain his paintings, Dr Gill says, “I wish the viewers could We hear my paintings.”

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April (Second) 2009

H
THY NAME IS

PRITHVI

A painter who gets ideas from life.
By Gayatri T Rao

VERSATILITY!

e is a painter, a poster artist, a singer, a character get-up designer and an actor. That’s not all. There is more to this multi-talented person. I am talking about the famous painter Prithvi Soni. Some of his get-up designs are still famous. Among them are Mogambo ( Mr India) for the late Amrish Puri (Prithvi gave the actor more than 15-20 looks in different movies), Dr Dang (Karma) for Anupam Kher, the look for Sanjay Dutt in Khalnayak and Amitabh Bachchan’s Robin Hood look in Toofan. Born in the district of Bahadurgarh, Haryana, he educated himself in Delhi. He considers his entire education to be only in art. As far as academics are concerned, he has only studied till the 8th standard. His passion for painting made him concentrate on art alone. Though interested in art, Prithvi’s father had a tailor’s shop and would get his son books on art written by big artists. Prithvi is the only artist among six brothers and three sisters. Prithvi’s wife is a photographer. She has done her diploma in photography from Pune. She has also done an acting course from the Taneja Institute. Right now, she is directing a play and writing a story. Their son is an actor and acted in a recent movie called Om Shanti – A Fight for Peace . Prithvi’s daughter Kavita is a singer and has recently released an album. We met at Prithvi’s studio in Andheri. Excerpts from an interview: What kind of painting is your forte? My forte is figurative paintings. They depict Indian culture, Indian beauty and Indian music.

What do you mean by music? Musical instruments? Yes. Musical instruments that of Rajasthan. The instruments connected to the desert and their dance. I have worked on them all. Like for example the flute, which is one of India’s most melodious

A young devotee is worshipping the rising sun after a dip is the holy Ganga river.

instruments. I have made many paintings on the theme. I’ve worked on the folk music of Punjab. I’ve mostly worked on beauty with music.

When and how did you get attracted to this kind of painting? I was not really attracted to painting as you can consider me a born artist. Since I started understanding things, I have been interested in music and painting. I would just start copying the photographs which I saw as a child. I would spoil the walls of people’s houses with charcoal. People would even get angry. After that, in 1962, I was taken to Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, by my guru, Rang Roop Sahab. Then I started learning this work. Are you experimenting with the kind of paintings you are doing now? Yes, because, in 1994-95, some
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of my paintings were forged and brought into the market. Though I had heavy losses due to this, my work reached many people even though as forgeries. I got a name. Then I changed my style. Like before, I was working on folk beauty, folk dance and folk music. I reduced that kind of work and brought some modernity into my paintings. I’ve been giving an abstract touch to the figurative paintings so that it does not look realistic.

What are you going to exhibit in your next exhibition? The theme that I am working on is the same – beauty and music, but in a different way. What is the starting point and what is the conclusive point of a painting? Sometimes, I get inspiration about a subject. I sketch the idea at that time itself. Then I make a final sketch and develop it on a canvas. How do you select the themes and ideas that you like to depict through your paintings? When I see anything interesting, like a labourer working or motherhood is seen in a woman. I mull over developing the same some time after seeing the scene so that it reaches out to the people in the right perspective. For example, we go to a music party, we think about developing the

Have some artists influenced you deeply? Yes, first of all it is my guru, Rang Roop Sahab, then it was Tilak Rajji. Then there are old masters like Picasso. Then our own M F Hussain. Any new exhibitions coming up? Yes. There is a big show in June at the Museum Art Gallery, behind the Jehangir Art Gallery.
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April (Second) 2009

colours. That means I use more oil in the colour.

Is there any difference between your earlier works and now? The work that I do now is faster. Previously I used to do detailed work. Now I produce better work with less treatment since I paint semi-abstract paintings today. It is not a detailed treatment and it is not gaudy. What inspires you to paint on a particular subject? This is really in our mind. There are certain subjects we cannot start working due to lack of time. But the moment we get the time we start doing it. What do you think about today’s artists? Art has become a very big field now. More newcomers are coming into it today. They are all good talented. It is not like before. Previously, artists used to be mature and then their art would have gained strength. Today, it has become a commercial field. Today, art is not produced, artists are produced. Previously, people had to look for artists. Today, the place is swarming with them. What is the current trend in this field today? Unlike before, there is so much work today. Sales are also less since production is more. If not a painter, what would you have been? (Ha, ha, ha…) I wanted to become a painter and a singer. I became both. As a painter, I could start earning early. As far as singing is concerned, you need the right opportunity and a proper break. I got to paint early for banners and hoardings to book covers and posters. Once in Mumbai, get-up designing, publicity designing, etc. came up. There were more We opportunities in that direction.
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scene in the form of a painting. Ideas come from life.

What is the kind of painting schedule you follow? I come to the studio at 12.30 in the afternoon. I work till 6 in the evening. I have my lunch before coming. I may rest for half an hour to one hour. Then I go for yoga classes for one hour. I come back at 7.308.00 and continue to work till 10 o’clock. What is the significance of colours in your paintings? I don’t use gaudy colours. There is

some attraction due to it. But I don’t use these colours often. However, if the subject demands, I do use them, my choices are earthy colours.

What is the intentional effect of colours in your paintings? The colours should be soothing to the eyes. There should be a cooling effect even though I use warm colours. There is a way of using the colours. What is the technique and style that you follow? I do oil paintings but like water
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About the artist Sumit Kumar Thakur Date of birth: 11 October 1977 Qualification: MFA Solo Exhibitions: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Maharaja Palace, Ludhiana UID Art Gallery, Kanpur Group Shows: Swarn Jayanti Exhibition, Kanpur University “Chitranjali”, Kanpur Club, Kanpur “Triveni Mahotsava” Allahabad Lalit Kala Academy-2004, Lucknow “Kala Vithika” Kala Mela, Kanpur Regional Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, Lucknow. Camps and Demo B.N.S.D. School, Kanpur Demonstration on portrait conducted in Egypt. The Gallery of Art, Kanpur. Artists camp at Art Mall 2009. Mobile: 09307070649, 09889702233

RECREATING PAST

Meet an artist whose work encompasses the history of human evolution and expresses the pangs of modern era as well.
By Pratima Sharma

M

urals as lofty as three storeyed building walls, a scene of Egypt or Greece or India – one wonders when one gets a glimpse and keeps gazing at all the massive craft engraved and painted taking the viewers to the olden times yet footed firmly in present. The efforts of the art are

none other than Muzzafurpur-based artist Sumit Thakur who is well settled at work in Delhi. Excerpts from interview: Why have you chosen Egyption or Greek theme in your work? I have studied the Egyptian and Greek civilisation well. I have spent hours together in the library and lived it the way the people of the ancient civilisations did. I love to paint murals as it extends my talent towards sculpture. To bring out the same expression, I blend with the modernism in my murals. Art was very good in the past as it is of today, the creation and the themes of the creative expression are very close to reality and much more attractive to the viewer.

When you paint, your theme is completely changed – comment. When I paint the canvas, I do it in oil or acrylic. It’s a delightful work. The disjointed, naked figures with no shadows engage well with the issues of the

In the midst of darkness, she is waiting for light.

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time. According to me, ‘creation’ is the bondage of expression with the real picture in view – figurative or natural. But when I create murals I blend the Greek aesthetic impulses with the touch of modern society.

What technique do you use in both types of your work? When I paint a canvas, my favourite colours are earth colours – blue, crimson, green, ochre, etc. and, as for murals, I use soft blocks, cement and plastic paints.

Say something about yourself. I was born and brought up in a farmer family. Out of three brothers, one of them helps my father in the family. Two of my brothers are well settled in the cinema scene set-decoration. My wife is also an artist as well as a mother of two sons – Tanishq three years and Prince one. I hope to build their careers as artists also. When did it strike you that you must also become an artist and who uplifted you? I remember when I used to go out in the fields I was attracted to nature trying to explore it. I came upon a path of creation. I was in class VI when I was

attracted to posters and banners. So I used to spend my time in a stationery shop in my village. But when in high school, I met a portrait artist who charged Rs 100 to teach me but I could not pay him so much. Then I met an army-retired painter who charged Rs 30. I worked with him for two years and painted signboards. Then I was encouraged by my teacher, Dalip-sir, who really guided me well. I completed my regular BFA and MFA from Kanpur University. Last but not the least, I am inspired by Satish Gujral.

What is your dream of art? To become a senior, famous, prestigious and renowned artist, though success is immaterial to me. My talent and my work both speak for themselves. I am bound to create a painting in future which is incompaWe rably to anything in creation.

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April (Second) 2009

A sportsperson scaling greater heights.
By Santosh Kumar Biswal

ANURADHA
ON HONOURS GRABBING SPREE

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gold, 48 silver and 38 bronze medals in her kitty for lifetime achieve ments as a hurdle racer. Anuradha, from Orissa is rejoining her sporting spree. Just imagine – she has been inundated with medals and bombarded with honours and felicitations. Yet, she is down-toearth, cool and takes things easy. She always relinquishes the option of an easy cake walk to her career and decides to go for a tightrope walk for bringing glory for her nation and state. Starting her sports career from Rourkela, one of the steel cities of India, she put her shoulder to the wheel with hard work and has reached national and international championships. Despite some bumpy rides in her journey, she always tries not to be cowed down by odds. She has had some great victories against her rivals, whether it is at the state, national or international levels. As she has been associated with Nalco

Sports Cell, her appetite to nourish her budding the sports talents is being fulfilled. Be it the Open Asian Championship, Thailand, in the year of 2000 or the recent SAAF Athletics at Kerala, Kochi, where she bagged gold for the 100 m Hurdles, she is confident in the field. Passing through hurdles on and off the fields, her contribution to the nation has been remarkable. Excerpt from an interview:

the field event of 100m. 200m, high Jump and long Jump in the Orissa state championships. In those days, professionalism in sports was less in Orissa. Today, sports is considered as a professional carreer. The type of coaching, field and competitions have been increased manifold.

You have set a number of national and international records in hurdles which have fetched you medals after medals. How do you explain your feelings of such victorious voyage? Yes, no doubt, success has given me immense pleasure and is the motivating factor for me to perform better and better. At what age did you start your career in sports and what difference do you feel between that day and today? It was the year of 1985. At the age of 12, I started my athletic carreer in
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How do you differentiate the game when you play for your own state and the country? Frankly speaking, when I am on the field I do not find any difference whether I am representing the state or the country. My only aim is to win the race. What’s the stand of our Indian hurdlers in the international arena, especially of our women? In Indian women hurdlers, I have the national record of 13:38 seconds which is comparatively nearer the Asian best. However, in the world scenario our record is not very impressive. Our women have the talent but resource constraints like proper coaching and proper diet are playing havoc in this context.

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Who is your idol in hurdles that you have been inspired by and why? My idol is P.T. Usha, whose 400m hurdles national record is yet to be broken in the national competition. Her dedication and commitment to the sport inspired me to break the 400m hurdles record. Who is your coach now and who was your first coach to push you to perform such feats? Now my coach is Arun Kumar Dash and my husband Paramananda Routray. Panchanan Gantayat was my first coach for the National Championships in 110m hurdles. You have claimed seven national records in 100m hurdles and one time at the National Games Record at Ludhiana. And your continuous work in the sports has brought 83 gold, 48 silver, 38 bronze medals which is remarkable and a rare milestone for a sportsperson. So what are your suggestions-cum-prepara tions to the newcomers in the same field? My sincere suggestion for the newcomers is that they should believe in hard work and commitment. Nothing can be achieved without sincerity. Only such people succeed who do hard work with a sense of sincerity. Why don’t our women succeed in international competitions? What are the drawbacks and how can these be overcome? Our women are no less than of other countries. They need to be geared up with proper incentives including coaching facilities. Players from foreign countries are being trained in an innovative manner to get better results. Are the initiatives taken by the Government of India sufficient to nourish the budding talents in hurdles? I feel there are significant changes when the question comes regarding the assistance from government for
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the promotion of sports. Dr Lalit Kumar Bhanot, secretary of Athletic Federation of India and M.L. Dogra of Athletic Federation of India have taken a personal interest in arranging training camps before any major international meets. I feel the number of training camps in the event of hurdles either abroad or India with a foreign coach, massager and sports

doctor can produce better results in major international competitions.

You are able to set the national record by clocking 13.38 sec in 100 m hurdles in New Delhi. How were the preparations before so that you stunned the competitors and the spectators as well? Before the New Delhi event in the year 2000, I had set in my mind a target to better the national record in 100m. hurdles. I took rigorous training under the Russian coach in Ukraine for two months. As the Russian coach Dr Yuriy Ogorodnik was himself a hurdler and sprinter, his coaching helped me a lot. I had achieved my best 100m and running timing was 11.62 which in turn resulted in creating a national record with a time of 13.38 sec. in 100m hurdles.

Career landmarks of Anuradha Biswal
2008 SAAF Athletics Kerala, Kochi 100m hurdles 4 x 100m relay 100m hurdles 100m hurdles Gold Silver Gold Gold

2008

Interstate, Bhopal Represented 2nd Asian All-stars meets, Bhopal National Games, Guwahati Federation Cup, Kolkata Represented Asian Grandpix, Thailand Open National – Tata Open National, Chennai Federation Cup, New Delhi Represented Asian Grandpix, Thailand, Manila SAF Games, Colombo Represented Asian Games, Doha Circuit National, New Delhi Federation Cup, New Delhi Interstate, Bangalore National Open, Hyderabad National Games, Hyderabad Asian Games, South Korea Circuit National Meet, New Delhi

2007

100m hurdles 100m hurdles 100m hurdles 100m hurdles

Gold Gold Silver Gold

2006

100m hurdles Gold (NMR) 100m hurdles 1.100m hurdles Gold 2.4 x 100m relay 4 x 100m relay

2005

100m hurdles 100m hurdles 100m hurdles 100m hurdles 100m hurdles 100m hurdles 100m hurdles

Gold Silver Silver Gold Gold 4th Gold (national record)

2002 2002 2002

Woman’s Era

April (Second) 2009

2002

Open National Meet, New Delhi

100m hurdles

Gold (national Record) Participated from India Gold (games record) Gold Gold

2002

Represented Asian Grandpix, Manila Philippines & Thailand National Games, Ludhiana

100m hurdles

2001

100m hurdles

2001 2000

Federation Cup, Chennai Salwan International Athletic Meet, New Delhi Asian Open Championship, Thailand Asian Championship, Jakarta

100m hurdles 100m hurdles

2000

100m hurdles

Gold

2000

100m hurdles & 4 x 100m relay 100m hurdles Gold (national record) Gold (national record) Silver Gold (national record) Gold (national record) Gold Silver Silver Silver Bronze

2000

Interstate, Chennai

You have done M.A., LLB and are continuing MBA along with holding a prestigious post in the sports cell of National Aluminum Company (NALCO). How do you balance these activities with sports with a shinning performance? My entry into NALCO in the year 1993 was based on my performance in sprots. Academic qualifications are equally required to be a complete person. So I completed my postgraduation, LLB and continuing my MBA. I really thank my employer NALCO which is very co-operative. Mr. Ashok Mohanty, assistant sports director from Orissa Government has been an inspiring and driving force all the time. My sports officer Mr Rajib Mishra also encourages me to continue my athletic career and educational activities as well. Besides I have also appreciation for my husband who not only encourages me but also takes care of all activities concerning homework. What do you do as a junior manager in the sports cell, Nalco, Bhubaneswar? I am proud to be a NALCOnion. I am concentrating on the athletic field to bring laurels for the state, country and for NALCO. I also encourage my colleagues to excel in their respective sports and games. Do you watch movies? Who are your favourite actor and actress? Yes! My favourite actor is Amitabh Bachchan and favourite actress is Madhuri Dixit. What is your favourite dish and how do you spend your leisure time? I spend my leisure time playing with my daughter Anshika (Kim) who is now a four-year-old and listening to music. Sometimes, I love to do We gardening.
● Seven times national record holder in 100m hurdles and one time ● National games record at Ludhiana: 13.38 sec. ● Life time achievements: gold – 83, silver – 48, bronze – 38.

2000

Federation Cup, Lucknow

100m

1999 1999

SAAF Games, Sri Lanka Open National, Bhopal

100m hurdles 100m hurdles

1999

Federation Cup, Lucknow

100m hurdles

1999 1998 1998

National Games, Manipur Open National, Kolkata

100m hurdles 100m hurdles

SAAF Athletics Championship, 100m hurdles Sri Lanka 4 x 100m relay SAAF Games Asian Open Championship at Singapore Jr. Asian, New Delhi National Championship, Jalandhar Jr. Nationals, Nagarkoil NRTS National meet 100m hurdles

1995 1992

100m hurdles & Silver 4 x 100m relay Bronze

1987

100m hurdles

Gold

1986 1985 104

100m hurdles 100m hurdles Woman’s Era

Gold Gold April (Second) 2009

Bridal effect
This beautiful lady in different make-up, apparels, jewellery and hairdos appears all set to take the plunge and tie the knot.
Hypnotic glance: Ready to set thousand ships on fire. Mark the neck and hair studded with jewellery. (Inset) Flowing traces.

Regal bearing: How much good jewellery and hairstyle can make beauty more beautiful is no imaginary concept. (Inset) Closer look at the hairstyle. Sexy smile: She appears ravishingly sensuous adorned with the special jewellery and hairdo. (Inset) A striking pose.

What an effect! The decorated suit and the curls falling over the shoulder leave nothing more to be added, making the lady singularly charming.

Crowned beauty: Isn’t she ready to compete with the best of the best?

Irresistible simplicity: This alluring apparel covering the head with bejewelled forehead; bangles and tattooed hand apparently sets the lady apart. Apparently, she has come down to the earth for someone special. Self-satisfied look: The intricately made hair with embellishment of jewellery renders her superbly sexciting.

Make-up: Beauty Bells B-1/6, Ashok Vihar, Phase-II, New Delhi. Pin: 110052 Ph: 011-27251254, 011-27221746

What is dyslexia? Certainly not a disease, just a problem which can be sorted out.
By Maharaaj K. Koul

DISTRAUGHT
● Ankita understands what the teachers teach but doesn’t express herself well. ● Bhushan can talk about computers but cannot remember multiplication tables. ● Chanda overreacts or underreacts to everything. Warning signals. These signs don’t necessarily mean there are problems. But they shouldn’t be ignored. These are concerns expressed by parents of children who have a specific learning disability called dyslexia. And if you’re looking for a medical

DYSLEXIA DOSSIER
solution, there isn’t any since dyslexia is not a disease. Each dyslexic person’s difficulties are different and vary from slight to very severe disruption of the learning process. There is no total cure but the effects of dyslexia can be alleviated by a specialist’s teaching. On the positive side, there’s a hypothesis that the neurological anomalies also give some dyslexic people special visual, spatial and lateral thinking abilities, which enable them to be successful in a wide range of careers. Remember, dyslexia has nothing to do with intelli gence levels. What dyslexic people require, most of all, is a faith in their abilities. And the right learning environment. The list of those who have excelled despite dyslexia is extremely long: Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009 Tom Cruise, Steven Speilberg, Harrison Ford, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney, Beethovan, Mozart, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, George Bush, Alexander Grahman Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, Galileo and, of course, Stephen Hawking. Among writers and poets of repute you have W. B. Yeats, Agatha Christie, John Irving; and among athletes, Carl Lewis and Nolan Ryan. They have all created history.

DEFINITION OF DYSLEXIA
The exact definition of dyslexia is still debated. Just as there are innumerable dyslexic children, there are perhaps hundreds of definitions of dyslexia. Etymologically, the term dyslexia is composed of two Greek words — dys meaning ‘ill’ or ‘difficult’ and lexis meaning ‘word’ — literally means ‘poor reading’. A comprehensive, complete definition

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adopted by the Orton Dyslexia Association, renamed the International Dyslexia Association, states dyslexia is a neurologicallybased, often familial disorder which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. Varying in degrees of severity, it is manifested by difficulties in receiving and expressing language, including phonological processing in reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and sometimes arithmetic. Dyslexia may also affect short-term memory, concentration, personal organisation or sequencing. There is not one dyslexic profile, not one standard set of characteristics. Some experience eye-hand coordination difficulties, while others are able to solve intricate puzzles and designs. Some seem to be in a world of their own, while others listen attentively and are due to genetic predispositions, people who have reading disability very aware of their general maternal stress, infections or either have larger right hemispheres surroundings. Some cannot decode exposure to toxins. Dyslexia can be than left or hemispheres of equal the simplest word, while others can inherited, passing from generation to size. Brain regions rarely work in read almost anything but have generation. Brain studies of infants and adults isolation. The left hemisphere is trouble comprehending what they have revealed that 65 per cent of the usually the side that is tuned to read. What causes dyslexia and how population has larger left hemispheres details and is involved in analysing, does it manifest itself? Dyslexia is while 24 per cent has larger right reasoning and sequencing. This has both a congenital and developmental hemispheres, leaving 11 per cent an impact on how well students do in condition. It is a neurological disorder with hemispheres that are the same such academic areas as reading, which creates anomalies in the brain. size. Research indicates that a spelling, mathematical reasoning and These anomalies bring about varying greater than expected number of computation and writing. The right degrees of difficulties in the usage of words, and sometimes symbols. Nonetheless, dyslexia can Ultimate Undectecable Solution Hair fall, Dandruff also be acquired through Oily Scalp & Alopecia changes in the brain resulting from illness or accident — Moles, Warts & Tags before, during or after birth. Special OfferAcne & Pigmentation The brain of the dyslexic child Full Face 16900/is affected by malformation, Skin Imperfections poor functioning or a delay in Unwanted Under Eye Problems maturation. Problems such as Weaving Bonding Hair Removal viral infections, wrong use of Breast Firming & Lifting ( American Made) drugs, malnutrition during Hair Transplant Nd: Laser FDA appr YAG ,US oved Photo Facial pregnancy, etc., may give rise Hair Extention Safest Fastest Painless to learning disabilities without Super sedbyPr essi s vi of onal Botox & Filler mental retardation by CondionAppl t i y affecting the brain. ConnaughtPl 12,CentalLane,Bengal ket ace: r iMar ,New Del hi1 Some children with HAIR & SKIN CLINIC Ph.:2371 1571,2371 1572 Gr erKaiash :Jeat l 1,Kai l ashCol , ony New Delhi • Mumbai • Bangalore dyslexia are born with New Del - Ph.:29244630,29244631 Noi C- 2,Mai hi48 da: 1/ n For More Information Road,Sec.31,Noi Ph.:0120da 4218888,9999666688 structural brain differences Dial or SMS "Y" 9999666699 & 9999222299 E- ai i o@ ber t i Vi tusat www. kowi i m l: nf kowi n s. si : ber t n s. which may have been caused

BALDNESS

TREATMENTS

Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

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IN POOR LEARNERS, THERE TENDS TO BE A GREATER RELIANCE ON ONE HEMISPHERE. UNDUE RELIANCE ON THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE BY THE DYSLEXICS LEADS TO DIFFICULTIES IN READING.

hemisphere deals with information more holistically, seeing the big picture. This side controls our spatial orientation, appreciation of art and music, our organisational skills, picking up social cues and our recognition and expression of emotions. In poor learners, there tends to be a greater reliance on one hemisphere. Undue reliance on the right hemisphere by the dyslexics leads to difficulties in reading, spelling, memorising facts, maths calculations and writing essays. Researchers believe they have identified the gene that causes dyslexia. The results were produced by a team led by Dr Albert Stein at the Welcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford, UK, after studying the DNA in blood samples from 90 families containing dyslexics. In an exclusive report, The Independent reported that samples were taken from parents and children who both had the condition. Scientists used a new technique to mark and track the genes to discover the approximate sites of genes for dyslexia.

unusual with the mother or child’s immune response that there is a susceptibility to attacks from antibodies which could be a cause of dyslexia. Phonological awareness or processing appears to be a common area of difficulty for people with dyslexia. This implies the understanding of sounds connected with written language and the ability to manipulate them so that words and sentences can be created. Dyslexics have trouble remembering the sounds of letters. They might know the individual sounds of letters, but they have trouble putting them together in the correct sequences. Blending sounds is a major area of concern. What causes this difficulty with isolating, identifying and manipulating sounds?

THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND
Most young dyslexics don’t know why they’re different, why they find it more difficult than their classmates to recognise the difference between ‘b’ and ‘d’, ‘p’ and ‘q’, between ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’, ‘left’ and ‘right’, ‘6’ and ‘9’ and various other letters and numerals. Many dyslexic children are told by teachers and even parents that they are lazy or stupid. They begin to believe they are indeed what they are seen to be. The children become utterly frustrated. No matter how hard they try, they fail where their classmates and other not-so-bright children succeed. Dr Stein hopes the new study will help lift the stigma faced by dyslexia victims. He says the condition is a

THE COMMON GENES
Dr Stein found three common genes that were associated with dyslexia in most of these families. The section of chromosomes, the study believes, is linked to dyslexia problems close to the genes that control immunity. This suggests there may be something

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Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

prime cause of childhood depression. Some education authorities only recognise the condition when there’s a three-year delay in reading sometimes when children are 10-12 years old and it is then too late, warns Dr Stein. However, this study opens exciting possibilities for establishing an early test for dyslexia problems, focusing on research into a system of nerve cells in the brain called ‘magnocells’. These cells react to the slight change in light that children need to recognise print. The research into a dyslexic’s response to stimuli like light shows their magnocells system functions less effectively than that of nondyslexics. This problem may be caused by the faulty immunity gene as the system of magnocells in the brain is very susceptible to attack or damage. How does one identify a dyslexic child? Early symptoms are found in pre-school children as soon as they start to read and speak. But more often than not, parents tend to overlook these symptoms, thinking that the kid will improve as he or she grows up. It is this lack of awareness that has made dyslexia a global problem. Early detection, followed by specialised training, can solve half the problem. If the kid is good at something but has surprising difficulty with others, if he or she cannot remember two or more instructions in sequence, is clumsy in some respect but good at manipulating things, has uncertainty about right or left-handedness, or has difficulty in dressing at the pre-school stage, it is advisable to see a

THERE IS NOT ONE DYSLEXIC PROFILE, NOT ONE STANDARD SET OF CHARACTERISTICS. SOME EXPERIENCE EYE-HAND COORDINATION DIFFICULTIES, WHILE OTHERS ARE ABLE TO SOLVE INTRICATE PUZZLES AND DESIGNS.
neurologist. If the kid makes repeated spelling errors, reversal of letters or sequence of letters in reading and writing as ‘was’ as ‘saw’; ‘on’ as ‘no’; ‘quiet’ as ‘quite’ etc., he or she needs specialist consultation. Your alarm bells should start ringing if your kid uses spoonerisms such as ‘par cark’ for ‘car park’ and has difficulty in remembering nursery rhymes. It is time then for assessment by a qualified psychologist. What does an ‘assessment’ mean? A full assessment with an educational psychologist tests for underlying ability — thinking skills, organising and planning using words and patt erns, vocabulary, reading, writing,

Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

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THE DYSLEXIC STUDENTS NEED A MUCH MORE ACTIVE AND INTERACTIVE ROAD TO LEARNING. THE “ORTON GILLINGHAM” APPROACH TO READING AND SPELLING WAS A PIONEER IN CHAMPIONING THE USE OF MULTI-SENSORY METHODS.
spelling, memory, and sound skills. Thereafter, a profile of strengths and weaknesses is made, which can tell an experienced psychologist whether the child is dyslexic and what should be done to help.

SPECIALIST TEACHING NEEDED
Once dyslexia is confirmed, the child, depending on the severity of the condition, needs appropriate specialist teaching to overcome the problem. If dyslexia is identified during ‘Key Stage I’, a great deal of support can be given even in the normal classroom. Teaching that is

good for dyslexic children is also good practice for others. However, the problems are compounded for the dyslexic child from ‘Stage II’. Such a child needs to be withdrawn from the classroom for targeted specialist teaching that will enable him or her to be included later in the full curriculum in the classroom. The dyslexic students need a much more active and interactive road to learning. The “Orton Gillingham” approach to reading and spelling was a pioneer in championing the use of multi-sensory methods. This method involves students to see, hear, say and write what they are learning providing as much of reinforcement as possible. “After a lot of research, I concluded that there is a need for specialised teachers at the pre-primary and primary levels. The teacher should have a sound base in phonetics, with the ability to segment and clip onset sounds, and then blend them so as to form words,” says Dr Arlene Sonday, former vice-president of the International Dyslexic Association, and author of the Sonday Systems — an acclaimed teaching system for dyslexic children. This will help children across the board. This is also the basis for the socalled Sonday System, which is a kind of teaching aid for teachers and parents. “The basic idea is to give the affected students an understanding of the structure of language,” claims Dr Sonday. Dyslexia is not a result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, inade quate instructional or environmental opportunities, or Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

other limiting conditions, but may occur together with these conditions. A recent BBC press report said dyslexia was an emotional construct. “It is not true,” declares Dr Sonday. Dyslexics are not disabled; they are indeed differently abled, but our society labels them as failures. Although dyslexia is lifelong, individuals with dyslexia frequently respond successfully to timely and appropriate intervention. Most teachers who have worked with students with dyslexia acknowledge the fact that they are privileged to spot amazing talents in them. They can have uncanny abilities to fix mechanical things. They have a general sense of curiosity, an ability to look at things differently, a good sense of humour, and a capacity to embrace life with an enthusiasm that most of us seem to lose with maturity. If the academic system can handle differences, and respect the beauty of diversified patterns of ability and behaviour, the world would be a better place for the dyslexic We children.

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Tear this page along the perforated line and send it to the under mentioned address. Winner will be announced in the June issue.

1 Q 2 Q

Your crush has winked at you! What do you do?
a. Smile and turn away b. Stare at him like he has two heads c. Wink back

Your best friend told you that your crush likes you. Yes! But what are you going to do about it?
a. Tell him that you like him b. Say: Yes, right c. Ask him out

Answer the questions win a grand prize...

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YOU HAVE A CRUSH
I know you think you have a crush, but do you really? For girls, ages 10-14.
elected entries will be published in the forthcoming issue of Woman’s era. Look out for the 31 May 2009 issue

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3 Q 4 Q

You have had an extremely romantic dream about your crush.
a. I can’t remember dreams! b. False c. True

7 Q

If your parents didn’t let you date, what would you do if your crush asked you out?
a. Say that you parents wouldn’t let you, but say that you’d try to get them to change their minds. b. Say: Uh, with you? c. Totally say yes, then sneak behind your parents back.

Uh Oh! You see the most popular (and bitchy) girl in school flirting with ‘your man’. What do you do?
a. Walk over and say to the girl: (name of the most unpopular guy in school) Says he loved your date last week! b. Say: Oh well, she’s going to get him, no use trying. c. Try to get your crush to come over to you.

8 Q 9 Q

How much would you say you stare dreamily at your crush, on a scale of one to ten?
a. 6-10 b. 0-4 c. 5

5 Q 6 Q

What does your crush wear?
a. Clothes that will impress me (I know because I told him to wear it) b. Something that he got off the bargain rack c. The newest styles

You are talking to your crush, and you are about to ask him out, when your ex comes over and starts picking a fight with him. What does your crush do?
a. Starts saying stuff like: She’s mine! She dumped you! Even if he knows he’s going to get clobbered. b. Walks away mumbling: It’s not worth it. c. Hits your ex.

Do you think about your crush?
a. Maybe... Ok I daydream... satisfied? b. Oh yes, As much as I can. c. Why would I waste valuable mind space on him.

Prove that you are aware of this trivia. Send us the coupon with your photo along
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1. Mark the answers and send us the cutting of this quiz along with this coupon. The last date is 15 May 2009. So hurry up and post it now. 2. The decision of the editor will be final. 3. Depict your true self only. 4. Send a photograph of your own. It may be printed in Woman’s Era, along with the results. Send to: Woman’s Era, Delhi Press, E-3, Jhandewala, New Delhi-110 055.

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THAT STRINGS MESMERISE
By Rema Prasanna

A peep into the innovation and style of a veena player.

his evening must rate as one of the best musical experiences of my life. The lashes of eyes, hand signals and body gestures between the players heighten expectancy. The intricate weaving to the melody, rhythm and tonal colour against the deep resonance of the bass strings elevates the inner ear. A world of sound encompasses the air, layer upon layer of melodic invention swirls around and quite literally fills one’s being, an hour and a half seemed like 10 minutes."...Malcolm Baldwin, British columnist on Shanti's veena performance in the UK. Shanti Rao is a well-known veena player of Bangalore and here is an extract from a mesmerising sound and rhythms of a music lover who in

“T

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true spirit spent her lifetime to be with this wonderful 7-string instrument – veena, associated with goddess Saraswati. Excepts from an interview: Your beginning and the inspiration which made to choose veena instead of all other musical instruments. I began my journey with music at the age of 12. I have learnt vocal music from T. A. Venkataramayyar, and veena from Harihara Ayyar in Madras. In 1969, on moving to Bombay, my ears fell on the sounds of the veena being played by none other than veena maestro Chitti Babu who was later to become my guru. I had never heard the veena being played in that way. I began studying the veena under the tutelage of Chitti Babu. On moving to Bangalore in 1973, I commuted to Madras for veena lessons with Chitti Babu, while also learning vocal music from R. K Srikantan and veena from R. K Suryanarayan and Pallavi Chandrappa in Bangalore.

debut at the Ramanavmi celebrations in Chamrajpet. It was well received as to enable other numerous engagements to follow. With time and experience, I have found it interesting to interact with other soloists like Dr M. Balamurali Krishna (vocal), J. Vasanth Kumar (sitar), Konarak Reddy (guitar), T. Menezes (keyboard), as and when opportunity arose.

Veena is an instrument played in different styles and the regional influence on that factor? The predominant styles are Mysore, Tanjavoor, Andhra and also Thiruvananthapuram. Each one has its own uniqueness and it is difficult to differentiate on style and variety. It is a blend of traditional and contemporary method which appeal to the masses. Performances abroad and the special moments of playing before Queen Elizabeth II? I have toured extensively around the world and I treasure those experiences. I have to say here that it was a privilege for me that I could perform before Queen Elizabeth II. I have experienced this wonderful feeling to be part of those music lovers – both Indians abroad and people unfamiliar with Indian classical music and/or the divine instrument. I have toured Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, UK, Germany and USA several times and performed at important functions. On my tour of the US, I performed in 30 cities and was repeatedly invited to perform in UK for 3 consecutive years where I played before the audiences and the response was electrifying. On another tour, I visited Cornwall, a small town in UK. I can recollect that the town was so small, and had my doubts whether the crowd would appreciate/ understand the intricacies of music. That night, I received 3 standing ovations and was talked about in the village some 3 years later. I can even remember the constable on beat applauding me on the streets as "a very nice concert ma’am.”
Woman’s Era

Tell something about your family? My husband Kishor Rao, being a cricketer playing first-class cricket for State of Maharashtra was not intimidated by a performing artist wife. He was instrumental in making me an independent and successful veena player without the shackles of conservatism or even radicalism. He encourages me to take opportunities as they come and use them to the best of my abilities. Also, team spirit is most important, he says. Soloists also have a percussionist to rely on to complete the picture. My two daughters are settled in life and this is what they have to say, "Our mother’s music was always a divine touch to our lives. It was like a prayer to strengthen our faith in the holy spirit and to follow the Hindu ritualistic practices like celebrating the important festivals all through the year, although we led a life which was unorthodox in many ways. Your first solo concert ? In 1976, I made my solo veena

Performances on home platform? Back at home, I have performed in almost all the most prestigious sabhas and received praise, accolades and innumerable media coverings. Awards and recognitions? I have received the following awards and I consider it all as a reward for the years of determination and hard work. "Best Debutante" in 1980 from the prestigious Madras Music Academy. "Best Veena Player" in 1996 from the Indian Fine Arts Society. The title "Mahati Mohini" by Dr M. Balamurali Krishna. Mahati is the name of the veena sage Narada believed to have played on. Vocational Excellence Award from the Rotary Club of Bangalore. Other achievements Established the Veena Vani Institute of Music, Indiranagar, Bangalore in 1996. Headed a 10-member all-women band in 2002 consisting of a Pancha Veena team, Keyboard, bass, Indian and Western drums and vocals.
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April (Second) 2009

Was invited by Kuldip Nayar, UK High Commissioner to be a cultural ambassador of India, having the distinction of performing before Queen Elizabeth II. Received acclaim for my innovation of the "Doublestringed veena."

Any memorable musical experiences? Played with pianist Mervin Afrika in UK. Recorded with Trilok Gurtu at Cologne, Germany. Recorded Pulse (fusion music album) with Shivmani. Played with Tommy Menezes (keyboard), Shivmani (drums), Konarak Reddy (guitar), Imme and Jerry Demos (bass and drums respectively) at Chennai and Bangalore. Innovation? I have learnt with rigorous practice

to effortlessly blend old with the new and the East with the West. But in mind I am very loyal to the traditional style of playing veena. I have experimented on contemporary styles to perform fusion styles with some renowned artists such as percussionist Trilok Gurtu of Germany, the ace pianist Mervyn of the UK, guitarist Jery Demos of Germany and the popular percussionist Siva Mani, having performed in various shows from Jazz Yatra festival in Bangalore to UK and Germany. I have played the

veena for musical directors Hamsalekha and R. N. Nagendra for which I have modified my instrument incorporating a blend of Mysore and Tanjore styles. I am dedicated to the traditional form of veena but I have tried a few innovations on it to keep with the changing times. The "double-stringed veena" received acknowledgements for its wonderful tonal quality and received acclaim from Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, and M. Balamurali Krishna. I have created 7 albums and 2 fusion music albums. I was a visiting professor of Music at Bangalore University. I have started Veenavani Centre for Music in Indiranagar, Bangalore to train those who have this passion for this wonderful instrument. Shanti has an attitude that is raring to go to create that extra special that would strike a rhythm with the people. We

RAY OF HOPE
A thin ‘Ray of Hope’ can lead our thoughts towards the sky. When we reach so high, Suddenly, we find the ray vanished – to find ourselves face to face with reality, Our dreams and wishes shattered all around us. Again, like hope – Reality will also lead us to a state of depression. We come out of that state somehow, Subdued, yet very hurt, Vowing never to hope again. But, soon, true to human tendency We start searching for a “Ray of Hope”.

– Latha
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April (Second) 2009

Log on to Life
The blooming and busting of romance on the Net.
By Anuradha Bhagi

A

re you still with the damn computer?" Sheetal usernames that are used when all the most commonly used ones are exhausted. Therefore, they jumped out of her skin when she heard her never even needed to tell their names to each other. mother shouting at her. "Mama...I...I'm just Some strange instinct made her introduce herself as finishing my work," she stammered in reply Ramya, and he introduced himself as Karan. to her mother's outburst. "I'm afraid this will They agreed to chat once a week. Soon, the not do, Sheetal. You must stop spending so week turned into days, and the days into hours. much time in front of the computer. Your Sheetal had no idea who the person was. All she board exams are coming up, and I want you to knew (that too from him) was that he was a boy, concentrate on your studies. Understand?' maybe even a man (he refused to reveal his age) "Yes, mummy," Sheetal replied meekly and and that he was wonderfully nice when he turned to shut her computer down. chatted with her. He said lovely things It was a blessing in disguise for Sheetal A particular like, "I've been waiting for you for the that her mother was not computer savvy. person in the past 2 hours online. I couldn't concentrate She was not very educated and could chat room had on my work" and "My mind only thinks hardly make out when Sheetal played interested about you these days." Such statements games, when she chatted or when she Sheetal, and both made Sheetal's heart jump with joy. was actually completing a project online. exchanged their Sheetal, for her part, used the computer personal fter all, she was a young 17-yearonly for the first two reasons. There was e-mail addresses. old who was just learning how no project she was required to complete Of course, the beautiful it was to be a beautiful, online. Whatever project she was personal e-mail young 17-year-old. She could not wait to supposed to do, she did along with a addresses they log on to the computer every day. She group of other students, and the research used did not rushed home each evening after school, associated with the project was disclose their finished the snacks which her mother gave completed in school itself. Sheetal was names. her and hurried to her father's room, actually hooked to the computer these days because of a different reason. She had found a where the computer was, to start chatting. When questioned by her mother, she replied that it was friend through chat while she logged into one of the popular chat rooms, and she found chatting with him essential for her school projects for her to be online for such a long time. This became a regular feature. an irresistible, exciting and thrilling experience. Soon, her mother started suspecting that It had started when Sheetal had gone to her something was wrong. Some probing and friend Dana's place, who introduced her to the questioning followed. Her mother realised that world of Internet and chatting. Both of them enjoyed Sheetal was not using her time productively on the the evening exploring the Internet and had started computer. However, what Sheetal did on the chatting using an Internet chat room. A particular computer was still unclear to her. She started person in the chat room had interested Sheetal, and objecting to her daughter's long hours on the both exchanged their personal e-mail addresses. Of computer, threatening to tell her father about it. course, the personal e-mail addresses they used did Sheetal knew better than to get her father into the not disclose their names. They were those fancy

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picture. She tried to please her mother by shutting down the computer and going back to her studies whenever her mother objected.

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ut it was difficult to concentrate. Studies were so boring compared to the exciting life she had left in the other room. But she had no choice. To prevent her father from knowing about the situation, Sheetal pretended to study. She fared badly in all her internal exams, and her teachers started getting worried. Sheetal, however, continued to enjoy her favourite pastime, neither being aware of the consequences nor the effect it would have on her or her parents. This became a daily practice. Sheetal was soon addicted to the computer, especially to her friend, whom she had never seen. There were occasions during their chats when they discussed how they looked and Karan described himself as tall, athletic, chivalrous and dashing. He made himself sound as every young girl's dream boy, and that is what he became to Sheetal too. She spent all her time thinking about him and drifted off to sleep dreaming about him. On her part, she sincerely described how she looked and also told him that she was 17. For some weird reason, neither brought up the topic of the school she studied in, or where they lived. It seemed immaterial, now that they understood each other so well, or so she thought. One day, when Sheetal was engrossed in her accustomed favourite occupation of chatting with Karan as usual, her mother called out to her. She reluctantly told Karan, 'BRB' (be right back) and went to find out why her mother had called her. "Sheetal, today, you must help me in the kitchen. Desai uncle and aunty are coming home for dinner," her mother said. "Oh, no," groaned

Sheetal despairingly. To help mother in the kitchen itself was an appalling task, but worse was the fact that the horrible Desai uncle and aunty were coming home for dinner. Aunty was okay – she did not mind her coming, and in fact, she even liked her at times. But the obnoxious Mr Desai? How could anyone tolerate him, let alone the fact of inviting him to dinner? Sheetal was even surprised how he was such a good friend of her parents. Her father and Desai were colleagues for a long time, before Desai resigned from the job to set up his own business, which made him a millionaire in no time. But he was still in touch with her parents and met them regularly.

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er parents had great respect and admiration for the couple. They could never tire of speaking of Desai and his benevolence, and how he had not let pride overcome him after he earned millions, and so on. Sheetal was tired of listening about his success stories all the time. The worst twist to this story for Sheetal was that they had no children, and they liked Sheetal very much. They brought her expensive gifts every time they visited her, advised her on her studies, insisted that she come home more often and generally made life uncomfortable for her. And now, this was the couple that was coming home to dinner that night, making her slog in the kitchen to prepare a lavish meal for them, leaving her precious and dear leisure activity rudely interrupted. Cursing inwardly, Sheetal proceeded to bid goodbye to Karan, who seemed unhappy to see her go. She promised to return to him within half an hour. She then hurried to the kitchen, thinking that, if not anything else, this was a good opportunity to please her mother. As she chopped the onions for the salad, she thought of Desai. Short, plump and balding, he was hardly a suitable match for Mrs Desai, who though not a great classical beauty, was definitely a very attractive and elegant woman. When husband and wife stood together, they seemed to be of the same
All that Sheetal could make out that he was a young and handsome man of her age.

height. In fact, Sheetal even wondered if Mrs Desai was the taller of the two. Also adding to his physical lack of appeal was the fact that he was extremely dark with protruding front teeth and a pot belly. Sheetal wondered how he had managed to marry such an attractive woman as Mrs Desai and how Mrs Desai could bear him.

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hen she had broached the subject to her mother a few months ago, her mother had reprimanded her for being so narrowminded, also scolding her for giving undue importance to physical aspects rather than the true worth of the person. "Do you know what a caring and loving husband he is? Or what he had done once to save Mrs Desai's life? Her father, pleased with his gallantry, offered his daughter in marriage to Desai. “Never speak of them again in that tone, Sheetal, or your father will be furious," her mother had said. Well, it was none of her business, she thought and shrugged. Her business was just to help her mother for a while, pretend to be happy when the dreaded Desai arrived with his pretty wife, speak with them for a while, and then sneak away to chat to Karan. With this plan in mind, Sheetal hurried on with

her work, finishing off all the chores her mother asked her to do. Soon, Mr and Mrs Desai arrived, he as always, loud and booming, and calling for Sheetal, and she smiling quietly in her petite manner. Sheetal managed the formalities without seeming too uncomfortable. She squirmed awkwardly though when Desai demanded that she should sit next to him for dinner. Her excuses that she had her school project on the computer to finish were silenced with a stern glance from her mother. Besides, her father was also present, and she would have had to explain what project she was doing to him and maybe even to Desai. What a plight! Oh no, she would prefer to have dinner and let them leave and then sit peacefully for some time with her beloved friend. However, she managed to creep into her father's room while everyone was busy praising her mother for the pineapple souffle they were having for dessert. Eagerly, she logged in to see if Karan was there, and if he had left any endearing messages for her. To her disappointment, Karan was offline. She waited for a while, fidgeting with the mouse, imploring him mentally to come online. But, he was still offline. Why was he not here when she had promised that she would be back in just half an hour? It was more than two hours now since she said that to him. She left the computer switched on, and went back to the sitting room to join the others. Again, after a while, she went back to the computer to check his status, but he continued to be offline. This went on for some time, till Mrs Desai noticed that Sheetal kept disappearing into the other room constantly. "What is it, Sheetal? Is something wrong?" Mrs Desai asked. "No, no, aunty, nothing. I was just just .completing some work," Sheetal stammered.

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heetal's mother glared at her, the others looked at her questioningly. Her father opened his mouth to say something. Luckily for her, at that moment, Desai's mobile rang and everyone's attention was diverted. Sheetal heaved a sigh of relief. She mentally scolded herself for her haste. She could have waited till the guests had left. Thankfully, they were leaving just then. After the usual formalities of 'lovely dinner' and 'thank you so much...we should do this more often' (No, not again, thought Sheetal), the guests finally left and, while her parents were seeing them off, Sheetal rushed to the computer and anxiously looked for Karan. He was still not there! What had happened to him? Where had he vanished suddenly? He had seemed reluctant to go, and she had promised him

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that she would be back. Then where was he? Why was he not waiting for her? Sheetal was bitterly disappointed. Though there was not much time for her to chat now, because her father was at home, she still could have at least had the chance to bid him bye and complete their customary "sweet dreams" and "goodnight kisses.” She finally left him offline messages asking why he was not online and telling him how much she missed him. There was no alternative now for her but to shut down her computer and go to bed. Sheetal was deeply disturbed and furious with the Desai couple for spoiling her evening.

The next day while on chat, Sheetal demanded to know why Karan was offline for such a long time and had not even wished her goodnight. She vented all her anger, also telling him that she was very anxious.

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he next day while on chat, Sheetal demanded to know why Karan was offline for such a long time and had not even wished her goodnight. She vented all her anger, also telling him that she was very anxious because of his absence. "Sorry, dear. I had some pressing commitments I could not avoid," was Karan's reply. Sheetal was hurt, but Karan managed to cheer her up again, promising that this would not recur, and that if he had to be offline, he would inform her. Things were again normal between the two of them, and Sheetal continued to enjoy her chats. One day, Sheetal returned from school by noon and, as she entered the living room she was taken aback. It was Desai seated comfortably on the sofa. He greeted her affectionately and went back to work on his laptop. She turned her face in disgust, and went up to ask her mother what Desai was doing at this time of the day in her house. "He is waiting for your father. They have to go to the bank together for the loan which your father is trying for, to start his new venture. Mr Desai is using his influence to get the loan sanctioned for your father. Your father is finding it difficult to get the loan sanctioned because he has so many already and because it is a big amount. Mr Desai's assurance will make the loan get sanctioned faster," said her mother, adding, "This is one more favour which Mr Desai is doing for us now. We are truly indebted to him." Sheetal sighed when she heard all this – one more reason to praise and talk endlessly about Desai. Well, it was again not her business; she shrugged and walked away to her father's room to begin her lovely routine of chatting with Karan. She had informed him that she would log on early today. Karan was online, waiting for her and welcomed her warmly. Karan: "Honey, I was waiting for you. What took
Woman’s Era

you so long?" Ramya: "My mom was giving me one of her usual lectures." Karan: "How boring! Tell her that you have someone waiting for you eagerly. Then she may understand." Ramya: LOL (Laughing out loud) How long have you been waiting? Karan: It seems forever, dear. Sheetal blushed and smiled. These were the sweet nothings she wanted to hear. They filled her with a thrill she could not describe in words. Smiling, she was about to type something, when she heard her mother calling her. Sheetal sighed. ‘What was it now?’ she thought. Quickly, she typed out the words "BRB, honey, mom's calling," and rushed to the kitchen. Her mother held out a cup of tea and some hot potato bhajjis and said, "Give these to Desai. Poor man, he's been waiting for so long now." Sheetal fumed inwardly. Why did her parents have to go on appeasing him like this? Not saying a word, but showing her dislike in the way she took the snacks from her mother, Sheetal moved to the living room where Desai was seated. He was not on the sofa. His laptop was placed on the centre table. ‘Thank goodness,’ thought Sheetal. Anyway, if he were here, he would again start talking some nonsense with her.

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he placed the plate of bhajjis and the tea cup next to the laptop, and inadvertently looked at the screen. Oh, Desai also seemed to be chatting with someone, she thought – intrigued – when she saw the screen. The words "BRB, honey, mom's calling" caught her attention. They seemed to be familiar words, she thought. Apprehensively, Sheetal looked at the screen closely, and received the jolt of her life; a shock so rude that left her mouth agape. Her world seemed to tear to bits suddenly. She hesitantly scrolled up on the screen to see the remaining part of the chat – and what she saw made her almost faint: Karan: "Honey, I was waiting for you. What took you so long?" Ramya: "My mom was giving me one of her usual lectures." Karan: "How boring! Tell her that you have someone waiting for you eagerly. Then she may understand." Ramya (laughing out loud): How long have you been waiting? Karan: It seems forever, dear. Ramya: BRB, honey, mom's calling. How did her chat come on Desai's laptop? How
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in the world did he have the same chat as she had? How was it possible that Karan's ID was on his screen? Unless...unless. Desai was Karan! How could it be? Her mind started spinning. Was she chatting with Mr Desai all these months? And did he know that he was chatting with her, the same Sheetal who he thought of as a daughter? She could not digest the fact that she was almost in love with a man she hated. What irony this was! How could he do this to her? Sheetal ran out of the room back to her computer. Indeed, Karan's status now showed "Idle."

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here must have been some mistake! How could Desai be Karan? Desai, who was fleshy and flabby, short and ugly, who had no sense of humour, most unromantic, and did not possess even one characteristic which Karan had – could he be Karan, who was dashing, dynamic, romantic and with a great sense of humour? It was impossible! Or was it? What did she know about Karan? Only what he had himself told her. He had said that he was young, handsome and tall, and all those other wonderful things that he had said he was. She had no reason to suspect that he was only saying what she wanted to hear. She had no reason to suspect that he was fabricating stories and creating a pseudo-character. She had no reason to believe that he was lying. Oh, how could she have allowed herself to be cheated like this!

Sheetal was consumed with grief. She watched Desai strolling in the garden, speaking incessantly on the mobile. She was filled with such intense despair and anger at the same time, that she almost ran up to him to find out the truth. She controlled herself with great difficulty. However, she could not control the tears that were rolling down her cheeks. What a fool she had been! She felt faint with selfpity, remorse, anger and helplessness. That she had loved a fictional character made her feel disgusted. Such a waste of emotions! The more she thought about it, the harder she found it to believe that her beautiful, romantic world had broken to bits in no time. She slowly went back to the computer and continued to stare blankly at the screen. Suddenly, the screen came to life again with Karan coming back online and saying, "Honey, still not back? What's taking you so long? I am desperate here." On seeing this, Sheetal was almost hysterical with fury. Hoping against hope, that there was some mistake and Karan was not Desai, Sheetal carefully peeped into the hall. Indeed, it was Desai again at the laptop, intently typing something. Sheetal looked back at her computer. The line "It looks like your mom is not going to leave you today" popped up. She watched as he continued to type some more endearments and finally signed off promising to talk to her the next day. There was no mistake whatsoever. Desai was Karan and Karan was Mr Desai! Truth is always bitter, and when Sheetal faced up to this horrible truth, she was shattered and left with nothing but bitterness. Suddenly, she lost all her enthusiasm and interest in life. Since the time she had started chatting with Karan, her whole world had revolved around him and their chats. Her daily chat routine was what propelled her to move forward, complete her work fast, ignore her studies and other activities and be glued to the computer. Now, with that chat gone from her life, she felt at a complete loss and didn't know where to turn. She continued to remain inattentive and insipid in class. Her teachers had almost given up hope on her now. Her friends were tired of asking her what was wrong. She refused to share her distress with anyone, withdrawing more and more into a shell of her own. This went on for a whole week. All of a sudden, Sheetal decided that enough was enough. She felt that
“We will never discuss this again too. I just hope that it does not happen to anybody else.”

she must move on with her life and studies, if not for anybody else, at least for her mother, who was toiling hard day and night just for her and for her father. Filled with an unexpected and rapid sense of resolve, Sheetal determined to pull back her strings and get back all she had lost.

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owever, there was one unfinished task that she wanted to complete before she closed this chapter forever in her life. She went back to the computer room and logged on to chat. Just as she had expected, there were dozens of offline messages from Desai asking her what was wrong, pleading with her to come online, demanding to know why she was not on chat, apologising for anything that may have hurt her knowingly or unknowingly, and plenty of sweet nothings and romantic endearments. Sheetal read the messages with no feeling whatsoever. The same messages that had earlier transported her to a fantasy world now failed to even bring a smile on her face. She was not even angry now. However, she felt that she had to know the reason behind the whole drama. She shut down the computer and went up to her mother to lie to her for the last time and made up a story about going to a friend’s house to copy some notes. She then took an auto and went straight to Mr Desai's office in a posh business area of the city. She did not even know what she was going to say to Desai. All she knew was that she wanted the truth and she wanted him to know the truth so that he would not dare to do this to another girl. She had been to Desai's office only once before that too with her parents. Desai was quite surprised to see her. He welcomed her warmly into his cabin. However, she noticed that he did not seem very pleasant. He appeared uneasy and anxious. And she was sure the reason was that she was not logging on to chat. His laptop was on his desk and, without a word, Sheetal walked up to view the screen. Taken aback by this action of Sheetal, Desai hastily tried to close the screen but not before Sheetal had noticed that the chat window was open. She faced him now with full confidence, and asked, "You also have the habit of chatting, uncle?" Desai muttered something in reply. Not bothering to understand what he said, Sheetal continued, "With your busy schedule I am surprised that you find the time to chat. Who were you chatting with uncle?" She stressed 'uncle.' Desai looked extremely uncomfortable. He tried to change the topic by saying, "Let's see what we can get for you to eat." Ignoring this remark, Sheetal coldly asked, "Who
Woman’s Era

"Why, uncle, why? Why did you cheat me like this?" Desai's head was hung in shame. He could not speak for some time. Slowly, he raised his head, and she saw tears in his eyes.

else do you chat with, uncle, apart from Ramya?" Mr Desai looked as if he had been hit. He staggered and fell heavily onto his chair. “What... what are you saying?" he stammered. And then Sheetal exploded. Tears flowing down her cheeks, she revealed the frustration and disappointment she had gone through from the moment she came to know his identity. She told him about all her feelings and how she had got carried away with his sweet nothings. She told him everything, and ended with "Why, uncle, why? Why did you cheat me like this?" Desai's head was hung in shame. He could not speak for some time. Slowly, he raised his head, and she saw tears in his eyes. He began to speak, "Sorry is not the word I can use at this moment, Sheetal. I know you will never forgive me. But, do you know why I created this pseudo-character? It is because, all through my life, people have hated me for this appearance. I know people secretly laugh at me behind my back at my ugly face and belly and appearance. I know even you despise me." heetal winced uncomfortably when she heard this. "The only people who really admire and respect me are your parents. Not even your aunty. Do you know what kind of a life we lead in our bedroom? She tries to adjust to living with me, but not a day passes without me feeling that she married me out of compulsion. Is it my fault that I am born ugly? The way she looks at me with sympathy because she knows I am not good-looking, makes me mad. She married me at the insistence of her father, not because I had saved her life and she was grateful. We just pretend to be a happily-married high-society couple. She wanted a smart, handsome man like Karan in her life, and she got me. That is why I am trying to be the Karan she wanted at least in fantasy." He suddenly looked up in horror, realising that he had spoken too much. "Will you...will you...?" he left the rest of the words unspoken. Sheetal understood and said, "No, nothing of this will ever be shared with anyone else. This is just between the two of us, and it will stay that way. In fact, we will never discuss this again too. I just hope that this does not happen to anybody else." "No, no, Sheetal, " Desai hastily replied. "I will never do this again. I understand what a great blunder I had committed." "Thank you, uncle. Karan and Ramya have logged out of chat for life. It's time they logged on to their real lives." We
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April (Second) 2009

There’s nothing original about these most sought-after breeds. Here’s why. By Maneka Gandhi

PEDIGREED DOGS DEMYSTIFIED

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any of you look for dogs as pets. Unfortunately, most people go in for pedigreed pups – not because they know anything about them but because they think that their own status will be enhanced! This must be the only country in the world where the owner of a pomeranian or Alsatian thinks that he is a superior being – instead of through his own achievements! What is a pedigreed dog? It is an invented species – take a perfectly natural dog, what you would refer to as jungli, and then work on it for 20 years of selective breeding to make the end product into a bizarre shape, size and colour and there you have a pedigreed dog. Suppose you want a

short, black, long-haired dog. You keep breeding black dogs and killing those that are tall. Keep intermating brother and sister of the shorter dogs till the size becomes short. Then kill the ones that have short hair and keep mating the ones that have longer hair till, after so many years, you will get the short, black, longhaired dog. Along the way you will have killed at least 5,000 or more dogs which did not fit your vision. The Indian contribution to the pedigreed field is the Rampur hound, the ultimate joke played by the Nawab of Rampur on dog breeders. He kept experimenting with strays until he achieved a uniform size and then entered them as breeds in dog shows where they won awards due more to his status than theirs. And the Rampur hound was born.

Breeding pure dogs is the ultimate cruelty. Their size, their structure, their self-defence systems are all tampered with to suit somebody's strange notions of beauty. As a result, they suffer from all sorts of genetic diseases. Dalmatians and pomeranians are prone to deafness – in fact all white dogs are partially deaf and some are completely deaf – poodles to epilepsy, Lhasa apsos to fatal kidney failure and cataracts, Alsatians to hip dysplasia (in fact they have stopped breeding them all over the world because every Alsatian has this problem of hind legs collapsing), and bulldogs to heart disease. As a result of inbreeding to create and maintain their characteristic appearance, each breed has many genetic defects. The basset hound's short and thick forelegs have chronic elbow dislocation. The standard that demands their eyes to be soft,sad and sunken creates a large gap between the lower eyelid and eye which catches dust and debris.

the most wretched conditions, repeatedly inbred and sold for fantastic prices. Thousands are killed because they are born with deformities due to inbreeding or else they have become either shy or aggressive. So they are killed even before they turn one year old. Is it their fault or that of those who have turned beautifully made living Similarly, the dachshund's short creatures into toys? Nor do pedigree certificates count legs are inadequate supports for the dog's long straight back, So spine for much. Most breeders and dog dislocations are common causing shows hand out C-class certificates (which means that they enormous pain when think the dog is pedigreed they move. No engineer As a result of but they don't know who would design a bridge the parents are)because with so much roadway inbreeding to the owners want to own a between its support legs create and paper that says that the and expect it to stand. maintain their dog is pedigreed. Of such Take the bulldog. Its wrinkles and huge skin characteristic foolishness is a pure-bred made. folds become the site of appearance, It is specially wrong to infection. Its nose is each breed support breeding in India required to be set back has many because millions of deeply between the eyes natural Indian dogs, causing severe breathing genetic better suited emotionally problems. A bulldog lives defects. The and physically to the a short life and one that basset climate and country, are is a constant struggle against suffocation. hound's short killed by municipalities or die of starvation or cruelty Then there is the and thick only because they are breeder's cruelty to deal forelegs have homeless. If even one in with. Every city has a slum area where these chronic elbow 50 people were to adopt a beautiful Indian dog dogs which have usually dislocation. from the road, there been stolen are kept in

DOGS’ PHYSIQUE

would be no more homeless dogs at the mercy of dog-catchers and death squads. Do not keep pedigreed dogs. Be Indian. Keep Indian. It is kinder on the pedigrees as well as our own dogs to discourage breeding. If you already have a pedigreed pet, feed the dog on the street and put a collar on it. If you are looking for a dog, you need go no further than your own street corner. I have 15 in my house and they are intelligent, clean and very faithful.

ADOPT AN INDIAN DOG
Once upon a time it used to be very fashionable to wear Japanese and Swiss nylon – even though it was hot and sticky and made you itch. Now, Indian cotton is so fashionable and the really rich people wear designer khadi ! The same thing with dogs. So many fashionable people I know only keep Indian dogs in their house: from ministers and top industrialists to singers like Shaan and Shiamak Davar, DJs like Cyrus Broacha, film stars like Kajol, Om Puri, Nagarjuna, Mahesh Manjrekar... every day my shelter has so many people coming to adopt dogs that we have taken from the streets , cleaned up and vaccinated. Be fashionable: adopt an Indian dog and you will be rewarded with a loving and loyal best We friend forever. 127

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RAPE
PREVAILS
Why does the victim of this horrendous crime feel victimised by society?
By Bhavna Keswani

THE STIGMA STILL

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he parents of the rape victim of the infamous Maulana Azad Medical College case of Delhi had initially refused to file a police complaint fearing their daughter would be ‘tainted’ for life. The accused in the Shanti Mukund hospital rape case, in an attempt to save his neck, proposed to marry the victim saying that she was now ‘impure’ and no one would marry her. A victim was abandoned by her husband as soon as he discovered that she had been sexually assaulted.

Rape victims are stigmatised: Thousands of rapes happen in the country every year but most of them go unreported, the reason being very conspicuous from the above instances that rape victims feel stigmatised. Of all the crimes, rape is the only crime where the stigma and the suffering lie with the victim, not the attacker. Not only does she face physical and psychological trauma, but is also stripped of dignity and humanity. Women on whom this heinous crime is committed often do not come forward for fear of being isolated or stigmatised. They prefer to remain silent, and this silence downplays their suffering and renders them invisible. Many victims have confessed that they feel the fear of their friends and relatives coming to know about their being raped more than the immediate fear of impreg nation or getting HIV or other STDs. For any woman, in any part of the world, the memories of her being raped are so strong and painful that they keep recurring and haunting her all her life. There cannot be a more traumatic experience for a woman than this and that she is stigmatised for it, does more to annihilate her self-esteem. Societal antipathy towards victims: Society has often unfairly made many rape victims feel that either they contributed to the attacks or that they are somehow be littled,

merely by being victims. More often than not, the woman’s honour is put on trial rather than the alleged rapist’s actions. Women who allege rape are commonly subjected to disbelief, public scrutiny of their sexual past or shamed with the stigma of being dishonoured or tainted for admitting that they have been raped. A woman is made to feel that she herself is to be blamed for what happened to her, that her actions or way of dressing must have been provocative. Instead of standing by her in her moment of distress, society completely shuns her. This antipathy forces the victim to hush up rather than come out in the open and talk about the crime. This silence often increases the feelings of victimisation. Women go about rebuilding their lives, joining society, caressing their children, trying to smile – all the while hiding the horror they experienced. But the scars of brutality on them never heal. Many times this psychological trauma is too hard to handle, disrupting their normal lives and resulting in breaking of relationships or marriages or creating serious physical/ psychological health hazards.

It’s not easy even for those who come forward: Some women show great courage and come forward to report the crime but unfortunately they don’t get a very encouraging environment in our country. Many victims are sceptical about the way the police investigate the issue. Such crimes are not taken too seriously by the police and at times it is seen that the law-keepers themselves don’t hesitate in turning into law-breakers. The harrowing Mathura rape case where a minor was raped by 2 constables on duty and the case in which a teenager of Mumbai was raped by a police inspector in the police station reveal why women feel scared of going to report the crime. Many times, the officials don’t seem to cooperate and refuse to even file FIR. So many procedural hurdles are created that the victim feels further harassed. Apart from that, proper investi -

gations are the foundation to the success of every case. One of the major stumbling blocks in prosecuting the rapist is the lack of consistent attention to this issue by the investigators. A major challenge that investigators face in collecting sexual violence evidence is a lack of skills on how to pursue such evidence effectively. They often receive no training on the interviewing methodology for rape victims, and the majority of investigators are male. Often, many investigators come from backgrounds where they have not had any experience with this issue or they believe that this is not one of the crimes that deserve serious attention. Many investigators, though fully equipped with necessary skills to investigate cases, lack training and direction on how to elicit information about sexual violence from wit nesses. Without consistent and sustained investigative work – the diligent and painstaking collection of information relevant to prove cases, coupled with a thorough analysis and processing of witness statements – trial attorneys are not able to effectively prosecute the rapist. Even the courtroom environment is not encouraging since the victims are subjected to hours, days and weeks on the stand being crossexamined by several defence

WHAT IS ALL THIS? NOTHING BUT VIOLENCE. WHEN WE MISCHARACTERISE RAPE AS A CRIME AGAINST HONOUR OR CUSTOM, RATHER THAN A CRIME OF PHYSICAL HARM TO THE VICTIM, WE ARE MINIMISING ITS SERIOUSNESS.

counsels, sometimes going over the same questions again and again, making them feel violated for a second time. They have to endure days of repeated, detailed ques tioning about the intimate details of the trauma they had to face. Though these questions are necessary to prove guilt, the manner in which they are asked is extremely insensitive and inhumane. The victim often feels humiliated or outraged at being asked in a public setting about being raped. Also, these trials go on and on and, like it has been said many times before, justice delayed is justice denied. During this period, the victim can either be coerced into taking back the case or, even if the verdict does come in her favour, it loses its meaning.

Rape is not sex, it’s violence: We often hesitate to talk about rape because it’s a sex crime and in our society we consider it taboo to talk about anything sexual. Rape is certainly not about lust, but an act of power and control. It is basically an act of a weak and perverted mind. Rapists are not governed by sexual desire, but by the need to overpower and control, to let out their pent-up frustrations. Bhanvari Devi was gang-raped by the so-called upper-class men because she was trying to stop child marriages in Rajasthan. This crime was not committed as a result of soaring hormones, but to unleash power over her, to tell her that if she did not stop meddling in their affairs, they had a means to suppress her. She was raped because her rapists wanted to ‘teach’ her a lesson and to showcase their superiority over her. What is all this? Nothing but violence. When we mischaracterise rape as a crime against honour or custom, rather than a crime of physical harm to the victim, we are minimising its seriousness. The stigma will go away only by changing attitudes: Yes, there is shame in rape and it rests squarely with the attacker, not the victim. The

stigma should be on the predator and not on the prey. This is possible only if society is willing to change its perceptions and attitudes. How can society blame the victim only when there have been instances of even 3-month-old infants as well as 80-plus women being raped? Are such victims capable of provoking their rapists? So this mindset of society that women only are responsible for the rapes that happen to them is nothing but hogwash. On the issue of rape, this country needs a sea change, a paradigm shift. We need to move out of those dark ages in which rape victims were whispered about and stigmatised. It requires significant courage for a rape victim to come forward and to publicly speak about the sexual assault against her. It isn’t easy for her but her courage should be applauded and she deserves all the moral support of society. And there are no immutable laws that societal stigmas can’t change. The stigma will only break if more and more women are willing to break their silence and report this heinous crime.

Rape victims deserve no stigma: As rape is such a personal and despicable act, it is natural for the victims and their families not to talk about it. But perhaps in the long run, it works to the advantage of the perpetrator and to the detriment of the victim. Rape victims deserve no stigma, but they certainly do deserve our moral support. We should rather rejoice in their survival from the most violent kind of crime and help them to overcome their trauma. This is only possible if society sheds its backward and antipathetic attitude towards victims of sexual assault, and encourages them to come forward to report this horrendous crime and get those dangerous criminals put behind bars. We can eradicate this crime completely only when there are no sick minds in society but, till then, we can at least instil enough fear in those perverted minds to deter them from this despicable act called We rape.

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Dr Bindu Garg (Head, Department of Reproductive Sciences) at Neelkanth Hospital Gurgaon is one of the leading IVF practitioners in the country. She has over 25 years experience with her. She completed her Post Graduation in Reproductive Sciences from Monash University Australia under the able guidance of Dr Allen Trousen (an ICON in the field of Reproductive Sciences). For an IVF (Test Tube Baby) centre to be successful a laboratory with advanced equipments is a must”, says Dr Bindu. Neelkanth Hospital has one of the most advanced and Hi Teck IVF labs in North India with pressure Gradiant Technology. The IVF lab is one of the few labs in the country fitted with HEPA filters and CODA Towers making the environment zero bacteria and infection free to up to 2 micro viruses. “We provide total infertility solutions and complete women care under one roof,” adds Bindu.

Beacon of Light

irrespective of colour, caste, creed and religion. The company is enriched by the able and experienced hands in Board i.e. Mr. Jyoti Narain, Mr. M.L. Sehjpal and Mr Kesar Singh, as the directors. Mr Jyoti Narain is to head every operation of the channel, from marketing strategies to devising HR policies, vision strategy and finance policies. “With this medium, we will highlight all aspects of human life. Our USP will be to cover authenticity factor. Through this channel, we are ready to give all channels a tough fight since we will present the news of and for the people,” believes Mr Jyoti Narain. He further says, “We will allow people to develop their own opinions and decisions on the basis of the facts we present. I am proud to have a team of leading young and dynamic people, who have already made a mark for themselves in TV journalism and believe in taking responsibility to change the way viewers look at news and entertainment. The vision of the channel is clear from the tagline itself – EK Umeed (A ray of hope).”

Pearls Broadcasting Corporation Pvt. Ltd on 27th March launched its National Hindi News channel – ‘p7’, first of its kind in India as well as Internationally. Veteran actress Dimple Kapadia was the Chief Guest on the occasion. P7, a Noida-based Hindi news and entertainment channel promises to offer the public news, information and entertainment dedicated to common people

‘P7 News’, Channel in Hindi Launched

Dairy India, the emerging name in the Milk and allied Dairy product industry launched its advertisement campaign wherein the lovable child artist Avika Gor who is performing as Anandi in Balika Vadhu, is introduced as Brand Ambassador. Her smiling face and attractive introduction of the products “Dairy India” will help the company to reach the hearts of every Indian, says the R. S. Dixit, CMD Gopaljee Dairy Foods Pvt Ltd.

Dairy IndiaHealthy India says Balika Vadhu Anandi

Click

Your Personal Agony Aunt Online

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1. A serious disease in which growths of cells form in the body and kill normal body cells. The disease often causes death (6) 4. An animal, especially one that is large or dangerous, or one that is unusual (5) 7. Chemical symbol of Chromium (2) 8. To make a series of short loud sounds when hitting against something hard (6) 9. The place on a computer where new email messages are shown (5) 10. A line or pattern that looks like a series of letter W’s as it bends to the left and then to the right again (6) 12. A sudden quick movement of a muscle, especially in your face or head, that you cannot control (3) 13. Abbreviation for compressed natural gas (3) 14. A system that uses radio waves to find the position and movement of objects, for example planes and ships, when they cannot be seen (5) 17. Used for calling attention to a surprising thing (2) 18. A short description of a book, a new product, etc., written by the people who have produced it, that is intended to attract your attention and make you want to buy it (5) 21. A unit for measuring electrical resistance (3) 24. Used to express fear or surprise (3) 25. An amount of money that you pay for professional advice or services (3) 26. An infectious disease, especially of children, that causes fever and small red spots that cover the whole body (7) 27. To put somebody/something in a particular position, especially when it is done gently or carefully (3)

1. A chemical element, found in all living things, existing in a pure state as diamond, graphite and buckminsterfullerene (6) 2. A person who uses the Internet a lot (7) 3. A speech or piece of writing praising somebody/something very much (6) 4. To come to a place with somebody/something (5) 5. A person with the power or influence or make judgements and decide what will be done or accepted (7) 6. Containing poison; poisonous (5) 11. Showing the time using hands on a dial and not with a display of numbers (6) 13. Compact fluorescent lamp (3) 15. Either of the two long parts that stick out from the top of the body and connect the shoulders to the hands (3) 16. A person who rides horses in races, especially as a job (6) 18. Something that makes you feel calm or relaxed (4) 19. The longer bone of the two bones in the lower part of the arm between the elbow and the wrist, on the side opposite the thumb (4) 20. To heat a liquid to the point where it forms bubbles and turns to steam or vapour (4) 22. Highest Common Factor (3) 24. A long thin sea or freshwater fish that looks like a snake. There are several types of eel, some of which are used for food (3)

Please accept my entry for the crossword competition. I subscribe to all the rules and regulations of the competition. Name Address City Pin

Tear along the dotted line and mail to Crossword No. 152 Woman’s Era, Delhi Press, New Delhi-110 055.

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WIN UP TO

Winners of Crossword - 149

Rs1 ,000 5
IN CASH PRIZES

Divya James, Goa.

Sunain N. Kandhari, Bangalore.

Archana Prashant Kumar, Ankleshwar.

Rekha Ravi Sa ran, Bhopal.

S. R. Sreedevi, Bangalore.

Bharti Kaushi k, Gurgaon.

Priti Milind Mas hidkar, Nagpu r.

Krishan Kumar, Panchkula.

Krantikumar D eshpande, M umbai.

Neelam Mehro tra, Lucknow.

A. Pushpa Nayagarm, Coimbatore.

Kalpana Nan avati, Mumba i.

Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

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M. Vijayalakshmi, Salem.

Goa. D. Braganza,

Umesh Gupta, New Delhi.

New Girish Gupta,

Delhi.

. al, Faridabad Nisha Aggarw

Vinita Singh, Satna.

abad. Taware, Hyder Vinod Pramod

Burdwan. Yvette Beale,

Parvathy Rajeev, Kerala.

Bhagwagar, Shirley Cyrus medabad. Ah

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Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

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M. Vijayalakshmi, Salem.

Goa. D. Braganza,

Umesh Gupta, New Delhi.

New Girish Gupta,

Delhi.

. al, Faridabad Nisha Aggarw

Vinita Singh, Satna.

abad. Taware, Hyder Vinod Pramod

Burdwan. Yvette Beale,

Parvathy Rajeev, Kerala.

Bhagwagar, Shirley Cyrus medabad. Ah

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Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

WIN UP TO
Winners of Crossword - 149

Rs1 ,000 5
IN CASH PRIZES
Rules and Regulations

Subhash Jain , Haryana.

Jai Parkash Gupta, Ghaziabad.

Ram Dhari G oel, Noida.

Ravinder Goyal, Bahadurgarh.

Sanjay, Agra.

A. K. Aggarwal, New Delhi.

A prize of Rs 15,000 will be given to the person sending an all-correct solution. In case there are more than one sender of an all-correct solution, the prize amount will be divided among the first 30 competitors chosen by lot. The decision of the management will be final and binding. Entries must be on the crossword printed here. Photocopies will not be accepted. Entries must be sent so as to reach Woman’s Era by 31 May 2009, by ordinary post. No corres pondence in this matter will be entertained. The contest is not open to the employees of Delhi Press. Every entry should be accompanied by the sender’s family photo. If you are declared a winner, your family picture may be printed in the oncoming issue. Please send a signed declaration that you have no objection to printing your family picture.

Answers to Crossword-149
Across: 1. Nudge, 5. Comb, 7. Duo, 8. Lonely, 10. Urea, 12. Indefinite, 15. BR, 16. Bystander, 19. NE, 21. Air, 22. Bureau, 23. Odd, 24. Dent, 27. Crime, 28. Glib

EEL, lify, 2. Don, 3. Down: 1. Nul Beaker, nt, 6. 4. CD, 5. Cou Ion, , 13. IST, 14. Enemy, 11. SN 9. ad, 17. Stride, . Be 15. Broad, 16 o, 22. Bond, 18. Dirt, 20. D , 26. PB 25. AL

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Q & A
What do the terms “bake” and “baking blind”, mean? When we cook food by dry heat, it is known as baking. Baking can be done in an electric oven or a gas tandoor. We can also bake special kinds of Indian breads in clay ovens- the heat being provided by burning wood or coal. The method of baking certain items without filling, like flans, tarts and pastry cases is known as baking blind. The terms “boil”, “blanch”, and “steam” are all different methods to cook food. What is the difference between them? To blanch means, putting food in boiling water just to either whiten or remove skins from certain vegetables and fruits. To boil means to cook food in boiling water till tender. To boil food on a slow flame is called to “simmer”. To steam certain vegetables means to cook in the steam which arises from a pan of boiling water. Sometimes, when a pan gets badly burnt, the smell lingers on for a long time. How can we remove this? The smell of burnt food from a pan can be snuffed out by simmering a few lemon slices in water, or microwave lemon juice in water for two minutes.

While preparing gravies for the various recipes, in what sequence should the ingredients be added to get the maximum flavour. When making gravies for the various recipes, put in the ginger, garlic, and fry for a while. Next, put the chopped onions, fry till done, then add your dry spices. This is done because it is the oil that releases the flavour from the spices.

Kitchen Queries QQ
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While preparing pasta, it is a long process – boil the pasta, then the vegetables and then the gravy. Can we in any way save time and fuel? Yes, a little time and fuel can be saved while preparing pasta. When cooking the pasta, put the chopped vegetables in the last couple of minutes, because vegetables take less time to cook than the pasta. And we have the cooked pasta and vegetables at the same time.

“Snacking on nuts” is a favourite pastime for most of us in the winter season, but at the same time we are afraid of increasing the cholesterol levels in our blood. How safe is this nut snacking? Contrary to popular belief, nuts do not contain any cholesterol. In fact, no plant food does. Nuts are very healthy snacks, as they are full of nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, selenium and viacin. In walnuts we find the highest antioxidant activity. Almonds and pistachios are a close second and rich in plant protein. So “snacking on nuts” is not a bad or unhealthy habit at all.

In our Indian cooking, can we always substitute butter with ghee and vice versa? In our cooking, butter and margarine are entirely interchange able although in certain cases – e.g. in cakes butter is the better option. As regards ghee, vanaspati- type ghee can also be used instead. Butter cannot always be used instead of ghee in many Indian dishes – eg paranthas, Indian sweets, etc. Though we can make ghee at home by heating butter on a low flame in a pan until the ghee separates and floats clear on top. The ghee should be strained and stored for use as it keeps for a long time without spoiling.

Can we prepare chaat masala at home. If so, how? Yes, we can make chaat masala at home, in fact, all the masalas like garam masala, sambhar masala, etc. for the chaat masala you will need 1 / cup slightly roasted coriander 2 seeds, 1 / 2 cup red chillies, 1 / 2 cup roasted cumin seeds, 1/2 cup amchur powder, 1 tablespoon black pepper, about 1 cup salt, 1 tablespoon of black salt. Mix and powder the ingredients. – Savita Bhargava.

Q

If you have any problem in cooking or kitchen, write to Woman’s Era. We shall try to help you sort it out. Address your queries to:

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Enlist your baby (between 3 months and 3 years old) as a member by sending us a passport size photograph and other particulars of your baby, like date of birth and address. Selected photographs will be published soon. Attractive prizes (CDs) are to be offered every fortnight to two selected best babies. Start cutting the gift ticket number published on this page. Along with the baby’s photograph and relevant details, send 20 tickets to us after pasting them on a paper. The tickets must bear different numbers. Start collecting your coupons straightaway. Before you know it, your baby might be the winner of a lovely prize!

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MONEY MATTERS

Q & A
My jewellery has to be insured. Would it be costly? How much would have to be paid, for insurance? Kindly inform about jewellery insurance details. Jewellery insurance protects ornaments from all risks, losses and damages. It is quite cheap. For jewellery of Rs 1 lakh, you have to pay a premium of Rs 1,000, only per year. Go in for jewellery insurance, under Section 3 of householder policy, which covers every type of danger. When a product has an ISI mark or a food pack carries AGMARK, but is not up to quality, what happens? Do I get a new item? The procedure is different for faulty ISI products and AGMARK packages. You can get free repair or replacement, if the product has ISI marking, but is not conforming to standards. An AGMARK food pack, when defective, can be replaced or you can get refund. Is it advisable to take insurance for small gadgets like iron, food processor and table fan, separately? Take insurance for big and small appliances under one policy. A small gadget, when insured separately, creates problems. Like the insurance company may not pass your claim, unless certain conditions are followed – the mechanic must estimate repairs and cost, the surveyor has to come and approve and finally, depreciation cost is deducted, which leaves you with a small sum.

My daughter has received offers to act in TV advertisements. Would there be tax? Congrats to both the little one and you! You would be glad to know that there is no income tax on money received by a child, solely owing to her skills, talent or specialised knowledge. How much gas is saved by using small vessels? If small vessel is put on gas, and covered with a lid, you can save 20 per cent gas. My husband wants to pay premiums for an insurance policy taken in my name. I am a housewife. Can he get tax exemption? Yes. He can claim tax exemption in the return, every year, for premiums paid. Can ordinary spoons be used for non-stick tawa? I heard they damage the finish. A wooden spoon must be used, as it won't scratch the surface of nonstick tawa, leading to a longer life. How can a sewing machine be kept in fine condition? Run the sewing machine at only constant speed, if a motorised one, to avoid straining the motor. For an ordinary machine, remove the cloth fibres with soft cloth. When not in use, put a piece of cloth under the presser foot. Make sure the needle is placed down, through the cloth. I want to invest in a post office fixed deposit or a bank fixed deposit. Which would give more interest? I also want to know tax treatment which would save more tax? The post office fixed deposit yields 7.5 per cent interest, while any bank fixed deposit may give at least, 8.5 per cent interest money. The tax on a Woman’s Era

bank fixed deposit and a post office fixed deposit is same. I want to purchase a self-defence spray for women. Could you inform me about the product, how it functions and what the cost would be. A woman can protect herself against unruly characters by using a self-defence aerosol product. It’s a red chilli pepper spray which, on pressing the nozzle, stuns the attacker by producing severe pain and a hot burning sensation. He is unable to move for 45 minutes. The self-defence aersol costs Rs 600 and is 20 times much stronger than the red chilli powder, in the kitchen. I wish to open a public provident fund account in my new-born daughter’s name. Can this be done? Yes, a provident fund account can be started in a child’s name. You can enter her name when she is two years old so that, after 15 years, the amount turns into lakhs. There’s a second-hand car, purchased recently, in our house. The dealer is now refusing to undertake repairs as it’s a used car. Do second-hand cars enjoy a guarantee? It has been decreed that a second-hand car carries a guarantee, just as a new car. You are within your rights to claim repairs.

E-mail your queries to: money@womansera.com Meenakshi Subramaniam is a former IRS officer, answering all your money queries, right from income tax to supermarket shopping. Mail your queries to:

WOMAN'S ERA,
E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg, New Delhi-110055. 145

April (Second) 2009

EDITORIA

L
CHEERS

G WOMEN Sonu ICTIMISIN lady named WOMEN V for of a notorious

N

Kudos for a good editorial Women Victimizing Women (WE: March I). The editorial concludes on male dominating society but in a democratic system women have enough scope for proving their point. The solution lies not in accusations or beating the drums but practicing reasonableness/ behavioral refinement. – M.P.S. Chadha, Chandigarh.

widesprea up its in economic winding meltdown is financial headlines some company to downsizing ews of arrest been hitting the the news of its drive has is sure that Media, especiallyents everyday, laying off jobs in Punjaban the market or is months now. developm business Nobody in quite some publishing the So everybodythe to the real the headlines. for tomorrow. rs, are much spice south hitting job will be safe in hand and, newspape after adding or she has cost. from a posh from his/her her case what he any regarding last November originally hails happy with retain it at gloomy scenario, wants to matter. Arrested lady in question luring young ting and s in India the time being, eeted for disappoin employee charge-sh Delhi locality, up to 8.2 Amid such predict that the trade. had been salaries – experts Punjab and into the much despised Sonu had illicit hike in their is based on girls ly, market sources, maximum prediction an innocent would enjoy the year 2009. Their to the police of men and, surprising by Hewitt, in According had fallen per cent – of a survey conducted with a number intimacy with her human resources d connection Sonu herself cy firm on the report men establishe later. How al consultan nt. e she has whichever some months story. But internation l percentag bullets developme is another girls’ and year to police this incrementa in crime world‘the Queen of Call Although the previous much got sucked less than be title of is slightly per cent, yet it will won undisputed under judicial arrest. have hikes at she is level of 13.3 nt agencies n to salary region. presently compariso ic law enforceme the increasing higher in Asia-Pacif on Since long, the including concern the responses especially global level is based on been expressing trafficking, girls active in The survey of human nce of young companies incidents from 480 disappeara reveals that poorer states received and it also cases involving comparatively may fall from Nations has different sectors increment and women the United then it of salary trafficking. Recently, come. But the rate on human of India. months to a Global Reporton the data collected during few d a released is based It reveals correct itself. the widesprea will India. that The report including of, that Experts maintainthe global economy countries far unheard are from 155 the has hit which is so t on the US recession are running dependen startling fact, have But even the womenfolk the nations networks countries. with now even rackets. Their Being women hard; especially more than other are growing brunt believes human trafficking al levels. and China feeling the in the interim internation woman, as everybody like India Recently, spread to Pranab then, economies per cent rate. for such minister is a plus point finance than seven of the women around seven easily. of more is that most also, caretaker s victims a woman stunning about achieving themselve misused budget has talked What is more ed were once being rate. in this crime, In fact, they are nt had implement d and Mukherjee indulged the salaries per cent growth Central Governme of atrocities. remain in the backgroun the increased some kind Last year, nt’s decision men, who n report and . motive Commissio by influential ly. Governme and rate of entire ‘business’ sex is the main so far 6th Pay exuberant price rise fact that operate the exposed of its employees unprecedented But all the hue and by an . Incidents in the country, It is a well-known trafficking was followed all previous records.deaf ears, as the are active and poor broke behind human fell on women gangs young girls rh inflation the commone rs ng data. reveal that large number of s fell, Chhattisga with manipulati cry of a , Orissa, nt got busy when prices of vegetable giving capital for which lure Bihar, Jharkhand governme them in the thereby, winter, women from rn states and bring their hunger for sex. record low, its own back. During the dived to y to pat failure of rate also and Northeaste men for satiating corner, large-scale s so far. inflation to rich nt an opportunit are round the reveals a supplying governme a breather statistics in the ivering machinerie general electionshas come like A detailed the n appear Now, when its faith in salary hike molestatio ing and justice-del culprits again put law-enforc raping and that keeps report of maximum may once many of the news of which the hope subject of ly. But how m We Everyday, prominent is a for the public, After all, it is mansera.co rs by the courts inated nt. newspape to: letters@wo and convicted of governme running. write it is the male-dom are booked analysis, sorry state everything In the final le for this concern. is responsib society which (First) 2009 affairs. Era ● March Woman’s

P

resently,

FOR reeling under world is called the entire and something Almost jargon. d recession

S INDIAN EMPLOYEE

WOMAN EMPOWERMENT

(February II). I feel this is the right way to teach the lesson to selfappointed “moral brigade”. It’s a way to give a befitting reply to these goons who are scared stiff of women’s empowerment. The response shows how much people resent the acts perpetuated by the Sri Ram Sena. It’s a disgrace on us when politicians that we vote into power beat up teenagers for holding hands. Incidents like these give India a very bad name in the rest of the world. We common people are more cultured than so many tainted ministers and politicians. India is a secular democratic nation; it is about time it lives up to its name. Everyone speaks of “human rights” but “women’s rights” is one of the major parts of that. – Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad.

look good. Articles on tours and travels are informative and useful for the holiday managers. Your regular features and contests for the readers are a great hit. By contributing to the reader’s opinions and reactions on articles of WE, we can have our say and stand a chance to win a prize too. To sum it up, Woman’s Era should be an essential part of every home. Keep it up! – Baseer Suleman, Karnataka.
SMART & SEXY S HOUSEWIVE
A sexy, ever smiling, caring only wife acts not t as an instan but soothing balm, cy vibran also adds d to the marrie relationship. Khan
By M Shamsu r Rabb

GOOD TOPICS TACKLED
This refers to your February II issue. ● I liked Puja Sharma, Subhra Mazumdar, Sukhu Mazumdar and other correspondents of WE’s observations and narrations about art and artists depicting various pictures from pages 77 to page 99 and including pages 111 up to page no. 134. ● I liked various 60th Republic Day greetings 2009 by Haryana chief minister and Northern Railway. – Meera B. Rao, Pune.

The article Are you killing your husband? (March I) suggesting how to help your husband live longer reminded me the words of Benjamin Franklin, who said that, “A little house well filled, a little field well tilled, and a little wife well willed, are great riches.” As already known, a wife is half the man, the best of friends, the root of the family and the source of wellbeing. When a man climbs the ladder of success, we will usually find that the person who has been holding it steady for him is his wife. In fact, she is firm in her loyalty to her partner in life by making her home congenial and by making mutual adjustments. – Beena Mathur, Pune.
ARE YOU

M

KILLING YOUD HUSBAN
R
How to help nd live your husba longer.
By Dr S. N. Khosla

made in heaven arriage is a matter and it is primarily destiny. mutual of union is a sacred a Marriage a man and in between it entails woman and to look partners both the each welfare of of after the sanctity other. The home and the life marriage by both be upheld has to wrote: John Gay is depressed partners. of a man If the heart when a with care. is dispelled The mist woman appears. s the whole summarise This aptly man-woman relation of a of the philosophy the provider if man is of the house ship. But it is the lady maintaining in family, then a major part and the bread who plays the family of the health statistical winner. are the But what about the lifeline ns women? observatio men and Patts, “The amongst to Dr David According

ROLE OF A WIFE

Be a Sexy house wife (January II) written by Ameeta H Sharma is a wonderful write-up. Really, it is a worthwhile tip for every woman for her happiness as well as of her family. Other stories – I am proud to be Indian by Smrithi Poornachandra, Lofty Dreams by Samita Shenoy, The bridge that united hearts by Nalini Sharma, Moms advice by Gurmukh B. Irani were top class from which we can take lessons inspiring. Regular articles besides the editorials are always useful to every body. This magazine though named Woman’s Era, is a guide for all. Really, the magazine is having Gagar Mein Sagar. Good wishes to editorial staff for their efforts. – Mohini Srivastava, Lucknow .
planned woman nobly command A perfect comfort and bright To warn to and Spirit still, light. And yet a of angelic With something your feel when a ow do you meet with wife weary eyes sexy home a fresh and tired after as you enter work? Instant long day’s quick refresh Or a energy? both? Well, ment? Or of Indian great majority als and profession need working en do businessm that could very refreshing their energy something on or revive ts of office turn them the after-effec will you to ward off contrast, how In starts pressure. your wife react when

?
WHAT ITTO MEANS US

A WONDERFUL WRITE-UP

The prize is awarded to:

Baseer Suleman, Karnataka.
WOMAN'S ERA invites readers’ opinions and reactions on articles, short stories and features published in Woman’s Era. The best letter will be given a prize of Rs 500. Address your letters by E-mail to: letters@womansera.com or by post to: AS YOU SAY
E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055. Womansera.com
Name: Mobile: E-mail:

WE: KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
Your magazine, Woman’s Era, needs to be complimented for catering to the needs of all the members of the family. It provides easy-to-make mouthwatering recipes from across the globe. Practical ideas for the home – like decor, furniture, painting, art pieces, gift ideas – thereby making the house homely without pinching the purse. For the youngsters there is guidance in selecting clothes, cosmetics and step by step guides to Woman’s Era ● April (Second) 2009

EDITORIA
TACKLING

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G

I

TARGETIN on the fringe country was Day, moral when our t a juncture, g her 60th Republic once again EXAM PHOBIA winter is fast giving of celebratinHindutvav adi forces liberty. of as women’s As the brigade are burning described developing time again. students ns t is exam what is being in Mangalore, a fast of a millions of examinatio trounced members place way to spring, the ensuing board first week of incident took , where around fortyand bashed up oil with in the are The midnight a pub which begin Republic and anxiety city in Karnataka barged into X and XII, before the ted stress group but also for class two days students, right-wing this, exam-rela women just among the March. With openly several young rise not only those women reasons our also on the parents. Day. alleged that – a practice that due to many Sri among their on the students is percentag e marks. The attackers wine there also brought and high in drinking Pressure The attack n’s chief, to secure peers, parents It indulged organisatio Bharat culture forbids. from the like targeting Arrest of to the students. great Hindu s, pressure into limelight. its links with Abhinavgaining dose of stressbecause of such Sometime Ram Sena on revealed give an extra that step of organisati Muthalik, teachers ignored blasts. extreme Pramod to be – another Malegaon bomb take the could not is also not after that the many studentsthey feel that they notoriety n so far reveals behind pressures Investigatio suicide, when of others. people ns committing of the and Mangalore motive anxiety and now up the expectatio blasts keep their a Hindu phase Malegaon is to create To overcome stress, the first India. from 1st pub incident the precincts of n-related new g began examinatio counsellin Rashtra within indication that till 2nd April, are of CBSE continue e year It is a clear Taliban mindset It would consecutiv rs of February. g the country is the 12th perpetrato counsellin heads in providing 2009. This during has been raising their of that CBSE students and parents beating again. to to say, services e hit the eye Needless ns. programm the pub has all examinatio the CBSE Outreach women inside The people from In fact, the designed keeping and are the youth of the storm. especially is carefully of students’ population of modes sections, over the country eity in Multiple NGOs all heterogen infuriated. against this vandalism is cal spread. as telephonic geographi this in marches to them, ation such columns out protest According been communic Question-Answer are taking policing. g, rights have black CBSE Voice Response of moral counsellin a rs, Interactive counselling through more the namefirst time that women’s incident as this newspape and online out to more and not the also terming They are System (IVRS) to reach simply not attacked. rights. is used policing is , trained phase. Also, website spot on women’s kind of moral during this c society. the such as 43 principals nt and examinees of Of course, and democrati governme as many will affiliated and members in bad in a civilised This year tolerable of ministers s from CBSE ists and social scientists are not only counsellor and abroad. psycholog some comments n for Women wounds. y in India e Commissio salt on the private schools; line individuall the cities of Delhi, National help in in a progressiv Gurgaon, operate this centres in India but also rubbing the fact that greater taste, Jaipur, 39 playing far must no denying Jamnagar, There are h, Meerut, women are There is and Chandigar ar, Vishakhapatnam, from six that of India, tion. They should be male Noida, society like Bhubanesw the first time transforma used to Guwahati, Faridabad, e and for in social that once Coimbator Bangalore There are roles , those rights Nagpur, Jabalpur, enjoy all of Kerala. of Bhopal, by womenfolk Kuwait, es only. tely, new cities Kollam in the state g drinks India at prerogativ g intoxicatin practice. Unfortuna is Baroda and centres outside Consumin healthy and libertine help line good is not a Sharjah. also four being liberal it high time to can take however, Qatar and it is the line between Dubai, Doha , students and parents day. Isn’t s. Ultimately, cool dividing blurred day by Therefore counsellor m We . Keeping the two? the CBSE mansera.co So, getting te between advice from have to tackle everything always work. differentia write to: letters@wo who positively of young students the exams to millions facing the best mind and boldly. All face the exams (Second) 2009 minds. Era ● February Woman’s

GAIN WOMEN A

A

CURB THE MORAL BRIGADE
This refers to your thought-provoking editorial Targeting Women Again

146

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